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UNE Farming Futures Events

Late last month, ABRI were proud silver sponsors of the UNE Farming Futures events in Armidale. On Thursday, 21 July, ABRI held a booth at the Careers Fair, which presented plenty of opportunities to connect with students who have an interest in establishing a career in the livestock industries.

Later that evening, we had four representatives from ABRI attend the Industry Dinner, which provided a chance to catch up with our industry colleagues.


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BREEDPLAN Completeness of Performance Report

The Completeness of Performance herd rating system assesses the quantity of pedigree and performance information that has been submitted to BREEDPLAN by an individual seedstock herd.

The Completeness of Performance star rating provides both seedstock and commercial producers with an assessment of how much performance has been submitted to BREEDPLAN by a herd. The star rating is an average of annual herd ratings over a five-year period. This five-year period is updated every year after the July BREEDPLAN evaluation.

The Completeness of Performance herd report is designed to help breeders identify any gaps in data submission that they might not be aware of, and so enable them to fill in those gaps as much as possible. We recommend that your members are encouraged to check their Completeness of Performance reports at regular intervals.

Recently, the report has also been updated to include abattoir carcase traits. This will be useful for those breeds collecting abattoir carcase data.

The Completeness of Performance score rating system, detailed at the back of the Breed Summary report, enables breed associations to score individual traits in such a way as to promote those traits important to the breed, or encourage breeders to collect data they consider to be important now or in the future. With the recent inclusion of abattoir carcase traits it will now be possible to include carcase traits in your Completeness of Performance score ratings to encourage submission of carcase data if this is important to your breed.

If you have any questions about Completeness of Performance herd reports or star ratings contact our team.


An Update from the ILR Support Team

Supporting a comprehensive system like ILR2, that is so many different things to so many different breed societies, is a logistical challenge of balancing our all-important client priorities with our own.

This winter has presented additional challenges with a new Covid spike and other winter lurgies that have affected our staffing capacity as well as that of rest of the country.

Despite the challenges, the ILR Support team is a hive of activity as we aggressively strive to support and evolve the ILR systems of our existing clients and implement new systems for the increasing number of new clients.    

We have recently resurrected the ILR systems for two of our previous clients who had left for greener pastures but have now chosen to return. This speaks into the depth of ABRI’s experience in service provision and the benefits of having access to a large and experienced software support team.

In addition to the 170 odd breed society clients we support around the world, we are currently in the process of rolling out new ILR2 systems to 3 new clients in the USA and another in South Africa.

Having successfully rolled out ILROnline ‘member services’ to many of our clients, we are now in a position to begin scheduling the ILROnline ‘public services’ rollout.

Whereas ILROnline ‘member services’ allow members to enquire, add and maintain their own data in real time via secure login, ILROnline ‘public services’ allows the general public to perform real time member and animal related enquires across the society’s database.

The implementation of ILROnline ‘public services’ will mark the beginning of the consultation process that we will undertake with our clients to replace their ‘Internet Solutions’ web systems.

Other busyness involves the migration of participating clients from their on-premise ILR servers to our Azure cloud servers. This being a prerequisite for the implementation of ILROnline among the many other benefits of the cloud.

We are currently focusing our ILROnline ‘member services’ rollout in the United Kingdom with 2 clients in the final stages of system implementation and we have just begun the process for our largest UK client.    

ILR2’s DNA Module is continually being refined and is continuing to evolve as we roll it out to more and more clients and seek to meet their requirements.

We are actively looking at ways to improve our ability to respond to client requests as quickly and efficiently as possible and we look forward making significant inroads in this area over the coming months.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss any aspects of your ILR systems please don’t hesitate to contact our team.


Let’s Talk Competition Software

ABRI’s competition software, iCompete, is a full association system from A to Z. Not only can it handle your membership, registrations, renewals, association’s breeding certificates and DNA results, but it can also allow your association to have a total solution to offer affiliates or committees to run their events and programs at no additional cost.

Originally designed for the Equine industry, iCompete now also caters for Cattle, Sheep, Goats and Dog associations that are after an event and competition system.

Modules in iCompete are:

  • Members
  • Animals
  • Event management
  • Result entry
  • Standing calculations
  • Award calculations
  • Studbook search
  • Online calendar
  • Live results
  • Affiliate/Committee screensSee example below of our online calendar module.

Everything from campdrafts, rodeos and show ring events are covered in the events system that comes standard with iCompete. Along with the events module comes a member module that allows members to manage their own information taking away the need to contact your association to make these changes, this allows your association to get on with the functions that will help it grow and expand.

If you run events and want a complete solution, please contact us

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ABRI Welcomes New Dairy Express Manager

The team at the Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI)
would like to extend a warm welcome to Fiona Brierley,
who has joined us as the Manager of Dairy Express.

Dairy Express is a leading supplier of herd management
information services to the Australian dairy industry and is managed
under the suite of products and services provided by ABRI.  

ABRI is excited to have on-board Fiona’s extensive knowledge
and on-field experience of the dairy industry as she takes on
this new challenge. She has held a range of consultancy, farm planning
and facilitator roles throughout her career, even starting out as a dairy
herd recorder. In these roles, she has provided services for many farming
families and businesses including consultancy and farm planning with
NORCO CO-OP responsible for the promotion and development of
on-farm planning to secure milk supply and meet market demands.

Fiona is passionate about contributing to the improved outcomes of
rural communities, businesses, and agricultural industries. Most recently,
Fiona has worked as team leader for The Smith Family where she
successfully led her team through a range of programs, resulting in
the improved life outcomes of disadvantaged children. Fiona also keeps
herself busy as a business partner for a farming enterprise,
which currently runs beef cattle. 

To connect with Fiona please see below. 

Email: dxmanager@abri.une.edu.au
or call: 1800 633 165


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.


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.


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.


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.