Did you know?

  • BREEDPLAN represents over 15 million animals, almost 40 cattle breeds and 100+ breed associations distributed across 14 countries.
  • BREEDPLAN uses pedigree, performance and genomic information combined with advanced analytical processes to provide Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs)
  • For over 40 years the Animal Genetics & Breeding Unit (AGBU) has undertaken the underpinning Research and Development (funded by MLA) to develop and continually enhance the BREEDPLAN analytical software.
  • All technical developments and enhancements are reviewed by a large team of Australian livestock geneticists to ensure the science that underpins BREEDPLAN remains at the cutting edge of genetic evaluation services world-wide.

Download the flyer and find out about the exciting new BREEDPLAN developments

Simbra Cattle

Major Upgrade for South African Simbra BREEDPLAN

A number of significant BREEDPLAN enhancements were implemented in the February 2023 South African Simbra BREEDPLAN analysis. These enhancements include:

1. Upgrade to BREEDPLAN version 6.2

The South African Simbra evaluation will now be using the latest version of the BREEDPLAN software, which includes a number of enhancements: a greater range of traits that can be analysed, an improved method for handling different groups of “base” animals, improved modelling of days-to-calving records for tropically adapted breeds, and the capacity to include genomic data via single-step methods in the future.

2. Updated adjustment factors and genetic parameters

An updated set of adjustment factors and genetic parameters have been estimated to reflect the volume of performance data now available for the population. This includes more recently recorded traits such as days-to-calving and net feed intake. As a consequence, the parameters that were implemented in the February 2023 evaluation will better represent the population of animals with performance records.

3. Publication of a Net Feed Intake (Post Weaning) EBV

NFI-P EBV’s are estimates of genetic differences between animals in feed intake at a standard weight and rate of weight gain when animals are in a growing phase. For more information on NFI-EBVs can be found in the Help Centre on the BREEDPLAN website Click Here

4. Three new Selection Indexes released

The new indexes are the:

  • Self-Replacing Feedlot Index (SRF)
  • Self- Replacing Weaner Index (SRW)
  • Self-Replacing Grassfed Index (SRG)

The three new selection indexes were developed by the Simbra Cattle Breeders Society of South Africa in conjunction with staff here at ABRI. Further information about the new selection indexes for South African Simbra is available from the Help Centre on the BREEDPLAN website Here

ABRI Breed Extension Services Logo Horizontal Large

Introducing ABRI Extension Services

The Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI) is pleased to introduce ABRI Extension Services.

The newly formed ABRI Extension Services provides technical support and extension initiatives supporting the use and understanding of BREEDPLAN® and related genetic technologies.

ABRI Managing Director Hugh Nivison says “I would encourage breeders and breed society staff to engage with the ABRI Extension Services team to ensure they are making optimal use of the BREEDPLAN system and associated technologies”.

The ABRI Extension Services team offers a range of extension initiatives, including BREEDPLAN workshops and herd consultations. The team are specialised in presenting on a range of beef breeding and genetics related topics, and are available for events facilitated by breed societies, industry organisations and individual producers.

“ABRI’s Extension team will continue to provide high-level technical support to breed societies and to breeding groups in Australia and overseas” says Steven Skinner, ABRI Manager International Beef Recording Scheme.

“They will concentrate on providing client organisations and their members with structured, consistent education and technical support for BREEDPLAN and related technologies and will maintain a strong international presence.”

Meet the ABRI Extension Services Team

Many in the beef industry will be familiar with the ABRI Extension Services team members from their roles in the former Southern Beef Technology Services (SBTS) and Tropical Beef Technology Services (TBTS) projects:

Catriona Millen is based in Armidale, New South Wales and has been with ABRI since January 2015. She has a Bachelor of Science from Monash University and a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) from the University of Melbourne. Catriona has previously worked as a genetics demonstrator for the ‘Get Into Genes’ program at La Trobe University.Catriona can be contacted on (02) 6773 3357 or via email catriona.millen@abri.une.edu.au
Paul Williams is based in Rockhampton, Queensland, and has been with ABRI since February 2012. Paul was raised on a dairy/beef property in South East Queensland, where he worked for four years after finishing his studies at Queensland Agricultural College. Paul has also previously worked as a Technical Officer at CSIRO for 22 years. During his time in CSIRO, Paul was involved in a number of Beef CRC I, II and III research projects.Paul can be contacted on 0427 018 982 or via email paul.williams@abri.une.edu.au
Boyd Gudex is based in Armidale, NSW and has been with ABRI since May 2017. Boyd was raised on a sheep and beef farm in New Zealand. He has extensive applied livestock experience having worked for breeding programs in multiple species. Boyd also received his PhD in Animal Breeding from the University of New England in 2011. He is also currently employed as a BREEDPLAN Technical Consultant, where he has experience with BREEDPLAN analysis, BreedObject and MateSel.Boyd can be contacted on (02) 6773 1711 or via email boyd.gudex@abri.une.edu.au
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New Accuracy Calculation Software for Single-Step BREEDPLAN Analyses

As the volume and density of genomic (DNA) information used in BREEDPLAN evaluations continues to grow, it highlighted the need for greater efficiencies to account for SNP effects in the calculation of EBV accuracy. Rather than reducing the amount of genomic data to keep things “workable”, BREEDPLAN developed an advanced algorithm for accuracy calculations that allows the highest of genotype densities to be retained. Read more here https://breedplan.une.edu.au/news/new-accuracy-calculation-software-for-single-step-breedplan-analyses/

If you have any questions please contact contact our team.


Major Enhancements for Angus Australia and New Zealand Angus

In the December 2022 Single-Step BREEDPLAN analysis several major enhancements were implemented:

  • Updated adjustment factors and genetic parameters.
  • Revised Docility analysis
  • New accuracy software
  • Updated parameter files for Index Calculation
  • Changed approach to using imported EPD’s.

Read more here https://breedplan.une.edu.au/news/major-enhancements-implemented-for-angus-australia-and-new-zealand-angus/

If you have any questions please contact contact our team.


Southern Multi Breed Project (2020-2025) Update.

The aims of this project are to collect performance information (including DNA) to support existing breed genetic evaluations for temperate cattle breeds and additionally may assist in the future development of EBV’s for new traits and multi-breed evaluations in the future. This project has reached a significant milestone with the first heifers born within the project now having their own calves on the ground that represents the first opportunity for the project to fully evaluate female fertility.

This is just one of the numerous research projects that are contributing to BREEDPLAN that are detailed in the Spring News Update. https://issuu.com/sbtstbts/docs/sbts_tbts_spring_news_update_2022?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=sbts.une.edu.au

If you have any questions please contact contact our team.


The International Hereford & Brahman Project

ABRI’s research and development team regularly conduct projects that explore opportunities to address international reach and demands from breeders. Despite the low level of across-country linkage that often exist among beef breeds, the international trade in beef genetics and the accumulation of genomic data has opened the way for some beef breeds to start moving towards genetic evaluations of an international scale. ABRI has been working with Brahman populations in Australia, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and the USA and seven Hereford breed clients in Australia. New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom. Namibia, Uruguay and Argentina.

Read more here Autumn 2022 Update Magazine

If you have any questions please contact contact our team.

Windhoek Workshop

ABRI Extension Services on the ground in South Africa and Namibia

In October, Catriona Millen from ABRI’s Extension Services team headed to Southern Africa to present at several industry events. The first of these was the Livestock Registering Federation (LRF) Stockman School, which each year attracts several hundred producers from across Southern Africa. In 2022, the theme was Building a profitable cow herd. Catriona gave several presentations, outlining how BREEDPLAN EBVs and Selection Indexes can be utilised to select for maternal cows and profitable steers. Catriona also provided a snapshot of the beef genetics research that is currently underway, and what producers may see in future BREEDPLAN analyses. Catriona then travelled to Namibia, where she gave several similar presentations at the Namibian Brahman Breeders Society (NBBS) Symposium and National Sale.

While overseas, Catriona also took the opportunity to provide BREEDPLAN workshops for ABRI’s Namibian and South African breed society clients. These were held at Bloemfontein, South Africa and Windhoek, Namibia, and gave breed society staff the opportunity to further their knowledge of BREEDPLAN and discuss any questions that they had.

The trip provided a great opportunity to liaise in-person with ABRI’s Southern African clients and learn more about the opportunities and challenges of the Southern African beef industry,” Catriona says. “I particularly enjoyed attending the LRF Stockman School Awards night, where a number of BREEDPLAN members were recognised for their contributions to beef breeding.”

Catriona would like to thank the LRF, NBBS and Namibian Stud Breeders Association (NSBA) and their staff for the invitation to present at these events and the support provided while she was in Africa.

If you have any questions please contact contact our team.


International Livestock Register (ILR) Update

The ‘ILR’ Support team have been busy supporting existing and new clients in their use and development of our ILR system resulting in an ILR client base expansion with new clients in the US, Mexico, and Spain.

We are continuing to migrate participating client’s ILR databases from their on-premise servers to our Azure cloud servers and are availing them to the cloud’s many benefits in the process. One of these benefits for our clients, is the ability to offer our latest ‘ILROnline’ web system to their members where the cloud is a prerequisite.

We continue to schedule ILROnline implementations and are constantly improving and evolving the system as we go. We successfully implemented ‘full functionality’ ILROnline systems for some of our clients in Australia and the US that include both ‘Member Services’, via login, and the ‘Public Services’ search functionality. This will pave the way for us to commence the process of assisting these clients to retire their use of the ‘Internet Solutions’ web system.

ABRI is committed to improving the service that it provides to our ILR clients we encourage you to contact us to discuss any aspects of your ILR systems marcus.osullivan@abri.une.edu.au or support@abri.une.edu.au.

South Devon Cattle

United Kingdom South Devon Release New Selection Indexes

Two newly revised selection indexes for the South Devon Herd Book Society (United Kingdom) have been released in conjunction with the February 2023 South Devon BREEDPLAN analysis. These are the:

  • Quality Beef Index
  • Suckler Replacement Index

The two revised selection indexes will replace the previous UK South Devon selection indexes and were developed by the South Devon Herd Book Society in conjunction with staff from BREEDPLAN at the Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI) in Australia.

Further information about the newly revised selection indexes for UK South Devon is available from the Help Centre on the BREEDPLAN website here.