AGAINST a backdrop of cutting edge science such as genomics and breeding jargon like single step evaluations, one simple challenge dominates beef improvement in Australia at the moment.
That is finding a way to better get the estimated breeding value (EBV) message to the commercial producer so he or she buys better bulls.
In an account of the past 40 years of Australia’s beef breeding industry presented at the Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association recently, leading consultant Don Nicol delivered that key message.
Mr Nicol said the challenge for the future in beef breeding was to come up with simple language to bring every commercial bull buyer into the EBV fold.
“We don’t need them dancing the single step, or talking about snips (single nucleotide polymorphisms),” he said.
Mr Average Commercial Producer goes to a bull sale just one or two days a year, he said.
“He gets there late… and asks an agent ‘can you put me onto two or three bulls? “Some even have a policy of not bidding until they see a friend bid. We need to get this Mr Average looking at the EBVs.”
Mr Nicol said in Brazil, where the main breed Nelore has four different genetic evaluations compared to our one Breedplan, EBVs were presented in deciles.
It allowed a buyer to identify a bull in the top 10pc for weaning weight. Mr Nicol said there was also a need to apply ourselves much harder to data collection.