Seeking a grail of genetic potential

Breeding bulls for efficiency

Beef
Millah Murrah Principal Ross Thompson.

Millah Murrah Principal Ross Thompson.

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Sire benchmarking program producing marketable results.

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MILLAH Murrah Angus has taken part in the sire benchmarking program from the outset, with stud principal Ross Thompson a member of the program’s steering committee.

“The program has reached a state of useful maturity,” he said, noting that nominations were now being called for a seventh annual trial.

Mr Thompson said: “Traits such as feed conversion efficiency are very hard to measure without a structured progeny test and that’s one great positives of the sire benchmarking program.

“Additionally, information gleaned from things like the actual carcase measurements of a sire’s progeny, allow us to make comparisons with EBV predictions.

“This is giving us a good understanding of how reliable the breed plan model is as an indicator of genetic potential,” he said.

“From the outset, we wondered if this program might uncover bulls that were the ‘Holy Grail’ of genetic potential. This hasn’t really been the case.

“Obviously, with so many traits being observed, no one bull has proven to be near the top for all of them. But certainly a variety of sires from each cohort is delivering breed leading performance across the range of traits.”

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