ASBPSELECT™ is an online genetic search tool that allows breeders of Angus cattle to search and sort data available on bulls entered in the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program (ASBP). Users of the tool can enter personalised selection criteria, to identify those bulls carrying genetics most aligned with their individual breeding objectives. In particular, the ASBPSELECT™ tool allows users to select bulls either on their latest BREEDPLAN EBVs or based on the average performance of their progeny within the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program.
The tool, along with a suite of other selection tools, can be accessed from the Angus Australia homepage by clicking on the Angus.Tech link at the top of the homepage, or directly from CLICKING HERE
While the ASBPSELECT™ tool provides a wide range of search options to all users, registered users of the tool will have access to a greater range of functionality, such as the ability to access interactive pedigree trees and to customize the display of search results. Registering is quick and easy, with access available to all Angus beef producers. Angus Australia members with an existing user log in to the Angus Australia website will already have a registered user account set up for them.
The Angus Sire Benchmarking Program (ASBP) is a large-scale progeny test program, run by Angus Australia with funding assistance from the MLA Donor Company, that sees around 40 modern Angus bulls joined each year by fixed time AI to approximately 2500 cows. It collects progeny data for a range of traits, in particular, hard-to-measure traits such as feed efficiency, carcase, meat quality and heifer fertility. The data from the ASBP is helping to build a large and comprehensive database which can be used for a variety of purposes including the validation and refinement of Angus BREEDPLAN.
Speaking at one of Angus Australia’s Regional Forums recently, Andrew Byrne, Breed Development and Extension Manager at Angus Australia, explained, “one of the objectives of the ASBP is to get good information on those hard to measure traits which are difficult for our members to collect within their operations,” he said. He further noted that the data collected would not only be used to help improve the accuracy of estimated breeding values published by Angus Australia, but would also provide a resource population for DNA, enabling the breed association to stay at the cutting edge of new genomic technology as it becomes available.
“This database is now starting to become the centerpiece of all our R&D, as many new projects are being dovetailed into the sire benchmarking program, and increasing the benefits we are receiving from it,” he said.
The program started in 2010, with the joining of the first Cohort, and is now in its 8th year with joining currently underway for the 8th Cohort. Analysis of the data on the first four Cohorts has been completed, and the steer progeny of Cohort 5 are being slaughtered, their carcase data being collected, and Cohort 5 heifers are calving.
The ASBPSELECT™ tool gives Angus breeders access to sire information across a wider range of traits than those reported in the traditional Angus BREEDPLAN evaluation, along with the functionality to identify, select and sort animals with superior genetics. Using the tool enables breeders of Angus cattle to ensure that the next generation of Angus animals that they breed will be more profitable than the current population.
“We’re continually trying to improve the performance and the profitability of Angus genetics within the beef production chain,” said Andrew. He encouraged breeders to head to the Angus Education Centre to explore the range of resources developed, and the help available for the entire range of AngusSELECT™ tools.