ENHANCED EBVs IN THE PIPELINE
An increasing number of commercial producers appreciate the value of estimated breeding values (EBVs).These identify beef sires which transmit improved performance and profit through their progeny. Jim Stark of Signet, which provides the Beefbreeder recording service, gives details on new traits to be included in the analysis
NEARLY 40% of pedigree cattle registrations are recorded within Signets Beefbreeder scheme according to recent estimates. Herd size has now increased to 20 cows and 30% of herds now take a scanning visit as part of their routine recording programme.
The growth in membership can be explained partly by the introduction of best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP) to the industry in 1992 and the regular publication of estimated breeding values (EBVs) for traits that relate strongly to the commercial producer.
BLUP has allowed breeders and commercial farmers to move away from the much maligned "400-day wt" syndrome, realising that full recording will generate a more complete picture of the beef animal and access the strengths and weakness of individual animals and family lines. The recently published MLC Beef Yearbook again emphasises the change, with EBVs dominating the genetics section.
Seven breeds now have an annual sire and dam summary produced, with others in the pipeline. These are now an important publication for the breeds, highlighting individual animals along with the genetic trends within the breed since 1980, the base year used for BLUP evaluation.
The differentials within individual breeds are high as demonstrated by the 30% variance between average (CH19) and top 10% (CH28) Beef Values for Charolais.
Bassington Hilton, a 1992-born Charolais bull bred from parents in the top 1% of the breed, is now the Charolais trait leader for Beef Value, at CH64. Selected for the young bull proving scheme, Hilton will have an interesting effect on the breed with his growth and muscling traits in the young bull providing scheme, Hilton will have an increasing effect on the breed with his growth and muscling traits top 1% of the breed.
Crailing Barrister, a 1991 Born Simmental Bull, is the present Beef Value trait leader, at SM75. Sired by the highly respected Camus Volunteer, SM55, Barrister is in the top 5% of the breed for growth, fat depth and muscling, all attributes that will produce well grown and well fleshed progeny.
In one review of bull purchases at the autumn sales, buyers were using EBVs when considering purchases. This was especially true for those related to farm profit, for example growth, muscling and beef value, emphasising the need for breeders to be involved fully in recording.
Research is near completion by SAC in Edinburgh on three areas of work: Muscle depth – a routine measurement taken on farm at scanning visits; calving difficulty; and gestation period.
Muscle depth would enhance the values related to conformation that the industry requires, with the latter two measurements helping to develop a maternal index of value to breeders. Introduction of these new traits is expected this year.
SAC is also investigating of developing a programme to compare animals between different countries, as the world "gets smaller" and trade expands this will be an invaluable aid to breeders. *
ESTIMATED breeding values (EBVs) based on best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP) analysis pinpoint beef sires and dams which transmit improved performance and profit through their offspring.
The main beef breeds now include EBVs in their sire and dam summaries.
The beef value is a composite index based on birthweight, 200-day growth, 400-day growth, muscle score and backfat measurement.
Details are now compiled for all herds which record with Signets Beefbreeder Service. The latest BLUP run assessments are detailed in Tables 1-7.
Charolais trait leaders for beef value
Charogal Fan FanEBV+4.5-1.0+41.4+82.0+0.09+0.23CH49
Aberdeen Angus trait leaders for beef value
TLA Northern Samurai (Imp)EBV+5.2+3.9+39.5+73.1-0.46+0.63AA66
Galcantray Lord Hamish R22EBV+6.5+2.2+48.1+97.9+0.26-0.25AA61
Hoff Valedictorian S C 925EBV+3.8+0.1+41.3+69.8+0.04+0.15AA59
Netherton Elsam EBV+4.1+2.4+35.6+59.8-0.27+0.58AA59
Curzon Proud GestryEBV+4.0-6.4+42.3+64.8+0.09+0.13AA58
Double a Willie Boy 2S (AI)EBV+2.9+4.2+35.1+66.3-0.10+0.48AA58
Monsieur Jolte R12 of KelleythEBV+5.7-4.4+39.9+69.4-0.13+0.27AA58
Nightingale Panther P19EBV+4.3-2.0+36.3+53.8-0.21+0.63AA58
Limousin trait leaders for beef value
Hartside Hensingham EBV+1.0+2.4 +27.0+52.20+0.70LM65
Simmental trait leaders for beef value
Hockenhull North StarEBV+2.8+3.9+38.8+81.6+0.25+0.65SM72
Sacombe Wishfull ThinkingEBV+2.2-4.9+28.9+54.1+0.19+1.00SM67
Balist (Imp G 1990) EBV+3.6+3.0+29.0+63.2-0.22+0.57SM66
Hereford trait leaders for beef value
SNS Generator 28XEBV+4.4-1.0+52.4+98.2-0.28+0.21HE77
Clipston Juror DH AIEBV+3.9-2.6+43.7+74.2-0.46+0.19HE68
Sarabande Jason DH AIEBV+3.9+0.6+34.8+71.1-0.39+0.67HE63
T-Bar-K Focus ET 35ZEBV+5.0-0.5+40.9+81.1-0.14+0.32HE62
BB Domino 1087 (Imp)EBV+3.8-10.1+54.4+79.0+0.62-0.18HE61
Harvie Anxiety 30R (Imp)EBV+5.9-14.1+47.0+69.3+0.14+0.11HE59
BP Extra 203U (Imp Semen)EBV+5.0-4.5+48.5+84.9-0.10-0.76HE58
Fisher 1 Extra (P)EBV+4.8-4.0+38.6+71.2+0.23+0.59HE56
Fisher 1 Ferrari (P) AIEBV+4.5-6.5+41.4+66.0+0.14+0.04HE54
Chapelton 1 Fanfare (P)EBV+3.2-4.0+37.5+54.7-0.30-0.31HE52
South Devon trait leaders for beef value
Grove Midas 3EBV+3.8+0.4+43.4+68.2-0.53+0.65SD65
Sexton Saturn 9EBV+3.3-4.6+26.7+61.9-0.35+1.16SD53
Paper Mill TrumpEBV+4.3-9.3+38.7+75.8+0.50+1.50SD51
AI Grove Brutus 17EBV+4.3-4.1+36.9+80.8+0.37+0.76SD47
AI Grove Charlemagne 5EBV+5.7+0.7+40.7+85.2+0.38+0.40SD46
ET Asdig Concorde 1EBV0-1.5+17.7+34.9-0.33+1.22SD45
Nether Mynton Henchard 4EBV+1.4-2.1+25.7+49.9-0.08+0.91SD45
Roskymer Saffrons Trump 1EBV+6.0-7.0+26.4+50.9-0.17+1.06SD45
AI Highgate Pioneer 9EBV+4.4-1.9+27.8+42.3-0.24+0.63SD43
Blonde DAquitaine trait leaders for beef value
Arlequin EBV+3.3-2.2 +36.6+60.5-0.09+0.57BA54
Fovant GeorgeEBV+4.5-0.1 +42.4+76.6+0.04+0.14BA53
Bassington Hilton, a 1992-born Charolais bull bred from parents in the top 1% of the breed, is now Charolais trait leader for Beef Value at CH64
Crailing Barrister, a 1991 born Simmental bull, is the present Beef Value trait leader at SM75. He is in the top 5% of the breed for growth, fat depth, and muscling.
Givendale Josh, of the GLB Charolais Improvement Group has a Beef Value of CH50.
Glos producer Charles Phillips of the Accelerated South Devon Improvement Group(ASDIG), set up to speed genetic progress in the breed.