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iCompete Live Results

iCompete recently scored and ran the National Campdraft Council of Australia (NCCA) team campdraft event, as part of the 2022 Nutrien Classic Program.
 
The participating teams were from Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association (ABCRA), Australian Campdraft Association (ACA), Gippsland Campdraft Association (GCA) and Southern Campdraft Association (SCA).
 
This event consisted of three rounds, where each competitor was able to do one run per round, for a total of three runs. The event was held over three consecutive days, with each round resulting in a team winner, and an individual winner. The overall winner and team were announced at the end of the final round.
 
Launched at this event was a new campdraft live scores system, developed by the team at ABRI, and used by ABCRA. The system is available to view on the ABCRA website. ABCRA’s executive officer, Mr Craig Young explains the advantage of using this new scoring system.
 
“iCompete Live Results provides in real-time event scores and rankings while an event progresses. The system is readily available to all, with competitors and the general public being able to stay up-to-date and monitor the progress of the event. Statistics also play a role in analysing the results with statistics displayed on what percentage of runs have fully completed the course to what the highest score for horsework and cutouts displayed. The competitor with the highest average score over 5 runs is also displayed.” Said Mr Young.
 
To take a look at the iCompete Live Results system, please click here. Or to make an enquiry about the software developed, please contact us.

ILR

An Update on ILROnline

2021 has been a big year for the ILR Support Team as we continue to support our existing systems, rollout out our new systems, and forge ahead with our software standardisation initiatives.

The software environment in which we work has changed significantly over recent years with exciting new software technologies and processes now available.

Our ILR Support Desk and the ILR Support Portal have been necessary and sensible initiatives to allow our team to collude to maximise our efficiency as breed society software service providers.

Our software standardisation initiatives, that are foundational in our new ILROnline product, but are also evidenced in our ‘DNA Module’ and elsewhere, also aim to maximise our software support and team resource efficiencies, and to minimise breed society costs.

Our Managing Director’s recent email to our breed society clients regarding ABRI’s new strategic direction with our ILR software products has been a catalyst for client engagement around the different ways we will provide services to them going forward.  This direction includes:

  • New feature requests, that would previously have been implemented using ILR2 and Internet Solutions, are now being implemented via our standardised ILROnline software.
     
  • The ILROnline Member Services rollout is well underway with 31 breed societies, representing four species, across five countries, now signed up.
     
  • The ILROnline Public Services features are currently being tested and will be progressively rolled out to clients to ultimately replace our legacy Internet Solutions system beginning next year.
     
  • On-premise to cloud-server transitions are now being routinely performed as pre-requisites for the ILROnline system implementations.
     
  • New DNA software feature requests are now being implemented via our standardised DNA Module software.
     
  • The rollout of our DNA Module is also well underway with 40 breed societies now signed up.
     

If you haven’t already, please review the ILROnline material available on our YouTube channel. Or, visit the ABRI website, where we have answered your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about ILROnline. 
 
If you want to start your conversation about ILROnline, or have any questions, please contact Marcus O’Sullivan via the ILR Support Portal.

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BREEDPLAN Selection Index Development

With the recent enhancements to the BreedObject software, the redevelopment of Selection Indexes has remained a strong focus for ABRI.

Selection Indexes are calculated using the BreedObject software that has been developed by the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU) at the University of New England. BreedObject combines the BREEDPLAN EBVs of an animal with an economic weighting on each individual trait (based on costs of production and returns on output) to produce a single selection index value for each animal.

At present, several breeds have been upgraded to the latest Version 6 (V6) Indexes within Australia, such as Wagyu, Hereford, Performance Herds, Limousin, Angus, Charolais and Belmont Red. International breed societies that have also implemented V6 Indexes include South African Simmentaler, UK Shorthorn, Hungarian Charolais, NZ Angus, South African Brangus and NZ Hereford. We are currently working with several additional clients to implement these enhanced Selection Indexes for their breed society.

Incorporating Selection Index information into selection decisions takes the hard work out of trying to decide how much emphasis you need to put on individual EBVs when determining which animals, you want to retain in your herd or purchase.

For a thorough review on Selection Indexes and information on the new developments included in the BreedObject software, please take some time to read an article published by SBTS & TBTS, here.

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ABRI Research and Development Update

ABRI continues to provide research support to clients collecting genomic information. Dr Brad Crook and Dr Shalanee Weerasinghe of ABRI recently collaborated with three Australian breed clients – Hereford, Charolais and Simmental – to investigate whether certain SNPs were associated significantly with birth and weaning weight records in these breeds.

Results from their preliminary study were reported recently at the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding & Genetics (AAABG) Conference 2021. In this study, they identified a small number of SNPs accounting for a significant proportion of the direct genetic variance in birth weight and to a lesser extent, weaning weight. Since presenting this paper they have expanded their research to include four international Hereford populations, all of whom engage in ABRI’s commercial services.

This work is a continuation of the International Hereford Project undertaken by ABRI. Earlier outcomes from this project were presented by Brad at Interbeef in 2019 and at the World Hereford Conference in 2020. ABRI is also pleased to announce growing interest in the Project from other Hereford populations across Europe.

This ongoing research represents an opportunity for ABRI to assist individual breed associations in making more meaningful use of their investment in genomic technology.

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Gene Editing

Following the announcement by the Red Angus Association of America in September 2021 that they will be providing herd book registry for gene edited animals, the SBTS & TBTS team have put together a background document on gene editing which may be of interest to you and/or your members.

SBTS & TBTS strongly recommend that any organisations considering the importation of genetic material from gene edited animals and/or their descendants seek independent legal and scientific advice on these matters.

For more information on gene editing, please click on the button below to find an article by SBTS & TBTS, which is available on their website.

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New Sales Catalogue Functionality

 

ABRI has recently completed enhancements to the sales catalogue functionality of the International Livestock Registry (ILR). The latest developments will benefit Australian breed societies and breeders who use, or plan to use AuctionsPlus when buying or selling livestock.  

The new enhancements allow a sales catalogue (which includes Lot information such as Pedigree and Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs)) created in ILR to also be exported to AuctionsPlus and updated daily. This will ensure your breeders AuctionsPlus sale catalogues reflect the most accurate and up-to-date information for these sales.

These enhancements are already included in the current sales extract through ILR. ABRI’s current sales catalogue web extract fees will remain the same, with no additional costs being associated with the new and enhanced features. 

If you would like ABRI to enable this functionality, please get in touch with our Support Team via the ILR Support Portal.

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ILROnline FAQs

Why are ABRI’s ILR systems focusing on standardisation?

  • software consistency – with ABRI’s 180+ breed society clients, all with largely similar requirements, standard software solutions are both logical and necessary
  • operational efficiency – standard procedures and software benefit you, ABRI, and your 3rd party service providers.  Standard data exchange protocols are highly favoured by 3rd party service providers eg. DNA laboratories, accounting systems like MYOB, on-farm PC systems, etc.
  • software support expertise – ABRI can optimise its ability to resource and support a single suite of software
  • software scrutiny – given the system is scrutinised by multiple breed society clients, system bugs will be more quickly located and all participating societies will be the beneficiaries of the corrections
  • system standard feature evolution – all participating societies will be the beneficiaries of the newly developed standard features
  • relative cost stability – the addition of new standard features are added without specific cost
  • overall cost efficiencies and minimisation

What is ILROnline?

  • ILROnline is a new service for your membership that allows them to interact, enquire, add and maintain their own data, via secure login, directly on the breed society’s database
  • ILROnline also allows public enquiry access, without login, also directly on the breed society’s database, using powerful new search tools
  • ILROnline is not a direct replacement for ILR2 or Internet Solutions, it is rather a newly engineered, modern, feature rich and evolving web based front end to the breed society’s database.
  • ILROnline is a standardised system that looks to capitalise on similarities of our client’s requirements whilst still allowing for their differences
  • ILROnline is the focus of ABRI’s new software developments.
  • Whilst ILR2 is still our foundational software product, features within ILR2 are being aggressively replaced by new features within ILROnline.

What does ILROnline do?

  • Member Services – ILROnline is designed for use by breed society members, and staff, for animal enquiry, registration, ownership transfer, trait entry, disposal and update, in real-time, directly on the breed society’s database. Members can also update their contact details, make payments to the breed society, and view their work-orders through a dedicated and secure web portal. This is the member services face of ILROnline.
  • Public Services – ABRI has also recently developed, and are in the process of rolling out, the public services face of ILROnline. Like Internet Solutions its predessor, this allows the public to access animal and member search facilities to enquire across the breed society’s database, review sale catalogues, access the mating predictor etc

What are the benefits of ILROnline?

  • ILROnline is a modern web-based product.
  • ILROnline opens up a new and transparent way for your members to interact with their data
  • ILROnline allows you to benefit from our ongoing software developments
  • ILROnline adds value to the services that you provide to your membership
  • ILROnline is a web application that can be securely accessed to perform breed society registry actions, from any sized device, from any network, without an installation on your device (unlike ILR2).
  • ILROnline is an evolving product. Whilst the fees to use it are relatively stable, additional standard functionality is being constantly added to it.
  • ILROnline contains standard features that are easier and more efficient to maintain which ultimately minimises costs.
  • ILROnline will supersede our legacy Internet Solutions system.
  • Whilst Internet Solutions operates against a subset copy of the breed society’s database, ILROnline allows direct access to the breed society’s database.
  • Whilst members can login to Internet Solutions and enter their new registrations, this ‘entry’ by them doesn’t actually get them on the breed society’s database. Rather, it just creates applications that breed society staff still have to enter into their database.  
  • ILROnline facilitates a reduced reliance on breed society staff for member support, data entry, data maintenance, reporting etc because members can do this themselves.
  • Having members largely looking after the entry and maintenance of their own data frees breed society staff to work on other things (eg. DNA which is a new big consumer of time, promotion, marketing, etc)   
  • ILROnline facilitates reduced paperwork handling as members can download society documents, such as Certificates and Invoices, themselves
  • ILROnline facilitates transparency of member’s work orders and transactions. This results in less calls to the breed society staff.
  • ILROnline’s requirement to host the breed society database, the ILR2 system, and the ILROnline application on the cloud allows ABRI to remotely support many of the breed society’s IT administration requirements compared to the society maintaining an on-premise server themselves .
  • The overall relative efficiency of the ILROnline architecture ultimately benefits us all

If you haven’t already, please review the ILROnline material available on our YouTube channel.

If you want to start your conversation about ILROnline, or have any questions, please contact Marcus O’Sullivan via the ILR Support Portal.

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To EBV or not EBV, that is the question…

Incremental changes for a profitable future


Watching the Olympics is inspiring and amazing.

Who could not be inspired and enthralled with the intense competition amongst these elite sportsmen and women?

The swimming is a particular favourite and the contrast between different events adds to the intrigue.

The 50m splash and dash, where the swimmers go for it in one spectacular lap is a vastly different event to the 1500m. The finalists are all great swimmers but over 30 laps the best performers build a lead steadily-lap after lap. They do this through disciplined skills execution and strategy, making incremental gains. Katie Ledecky builds this to a 20m lead and secures the gold medal.

Cattle breeding is much more a 1500m than a 50m event.

Copley Pastoral’s experience reflects this as we have utilized CBV genetics and worked to develop our own functional, analysed genetics.

Building over time with disciplined herd management, including a ‘No Freeloader’ breeder approach, data informed decision making and persistence towards a ‘Herd that Works’.

We work to make incremental genetic gains each year, regardless of seasonal conditions.

I came into the cattle industry 30 years ago when I married Tom from an Oncology Nursing background-where evidence formed the basis of our practice.

It seemed logical that our cattle business had a system, recorded and collected data that we used to inform our decisions and enable us to analyse and confirm our progress.

My role in our business became largely data management, in recording all maternal data from joining to progeny and then following the progress of the next generation. Utilising notebooks, excel, herd recording software and Google Docs ensures we keep us and our herd accountable. Latterly we have worked to increase accuracy through genomic analysis of EBVs and parental verification.

Data is the basis for a steady, consistent, disciplined approach.

Data enables us to avoid being distracted by shiny, seemingly easy solutions to complex problems.

The 1500m, rather than a 50m approach.

‘To EBV or not EBV’….that is the question…for some!

Hamlet faced a philosophical dilemma but using EBVs to select sires is not philosophical-it is just good science.

EBVs are not a cult, a choice between EBVs or ‘Cattleman’s Instinct’ or a mystical belief system.

EBV hesitancy is a frustration and comes at a cost to the cattle industry, when so much of the industry requires the utilisation of good science to make complex decisions about our expensive capital investments.

The value and power of EBVs is undeniable as we can identify those leaders and performers which can form the basis of real genetic progress and those animals that, despite how they look, just won’t.

EBVs can be daunting but fertility is king for the Northern Beef Industry the further north we go.

$ Indices for the Brahman Breed are both dominated by weaning rate and are therefore useful and simple selection tools. EBV informed sire selection requires consistent, persistent management of the breeder herd to make incremental gain through functional, analysed genetics. 

Followers of ‘Yellowstone’ will be familiar with the patriarch of the Dutton family cattle business-John Dutton played by Kevin Costner. In an endearing scene with his grandson Dutton lists off all the difficulties in ranching, which he can’t control, including weather, prices and public perception.

The grandson asks, ’if it is so hard-why do it?’

John Dutton replies ‘Because it’s one hell of a life…’

Now, we know that ‘Yellowstone’ has lots of problems and hasn’t been profitable for years. 

But a profitable business can afford you the privilege of living that great life and functional analysed genetics can help us make incremental gains for a profitable future for our family businesses.

This article has been shared with permission from Bush AgriBusiness. The full article can be found here.

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AAABG Conference

ABRI will be participating in the upcoming Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics (AAABG) Conference, being held on 2 – 4 November, 2021. 

Our research team will be presenting a paper named “Genome Wide Association of Birth and Weaning Weights in Australian Taurine Beef Cattle”. This research has been conducted by Dr Brad Crook and Dr Shalanee Weerasinghe of ABRI, and, Nasir Moghadder from Animal Science at the University of New England (UNE).

The research paper will be made available on the AAABG website at the conclusion of the conference. 

Representatives from SBTS & TBTS will also be participating in the conference.

To find out more about the conference, visit the AAABG website.  

Image credit: AAABG website

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Keith Entwistle UNE Scholarship recipients

The Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI) are proud to announce the 2021 recipients of the Keith Entwistle AM scholarship, awarded to two students studying at the University of New England.

This scholarship has been awarded by ABRI in the name of Keith Entwistle AM, who was a significant supporter of Australian’s beef industry through the reproductive physiology of tropical beef cattle and veterinary education.
 

Congratulations to Billie Standfield and Holly Miller, who are this years recipients!

To find out more visit: https://www.une.edu.au/…/keith-entwistle-une-scholarship

Image credit: University of New England