16 February 1996


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. &#42

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.

Table 1:

Charolais trait leaders for beef value

Birth200-day200-day400-dayFat depthMuscleCharolais

Nameweightmilkgrowthgrowth(mm)scorebeef value


Bassingbourn HiltonEBV+4.3-0.4+58.3+102.0+0.28+0.45CH64

Acc% 88448180466053

Moncur HarvestEBV+4.6+0.7+59.6+105.0+0.37+0.02CH59

Acc% 80507376485348

Givendale GasconEBV+2.8+0.3+36.5+56.1-0.19+1.00CH56

Acc% 88498284666656

Friarton EnsignEBV+1.2-1.6+31.7+55.1-0.35+0.84CH55

Acc% 95489193828464

Guthrie DazzlerEBV+1.4-1.8+34.7+53.3-0.34+0.68CH55

Acc% 95438786586759

Royston EdgarEBV+8.5-5.8+51.4+89.8+0.04+0.28CH55

Acc% 93608990626861

Balthayock GauntletEBV+6.5-1.2+48.9+90.1+0.19+0.16CH51

Acc% 79437477495150

Royston ReubenEBV+4.6-6.0+42.7+65.1-0.09+0.12CH50

Acc% 95679192636962

Charogal Fan FanEBV+4.5-1.0+41.4+82.0+0.09+0.23CH49

Acc% 87638186513554

Beauchamp FerrariEBV+2.7+0.3+43.7+91.2+0.42+0.20CH48

Acc% 87587479555850

Table 4:

Aberdeen Angus trait leaders for beef value

Birth200-day200-day400-dayFat depthMuscleAberdeen


(kg)(kg)(kg)(kg)(pts)beef value

Netherton EmmerdaleEBV+5.0+4.0+44.8+88.6-0.26+0.31AA69

Acc% 71416975585848

TLA Northern Samurai (Imp)EBV+5.2+3.9+39.5+73.1-0.46+0.63AA66

Acc% 94639193808265

Netherton FutureEBV+4.4+2.6+37.7+67.4-0.56+0.27AA63

Acc% 69376874595847

Galcantray Lord Hamish R22EBV+6.5+2.2+48.1+97.9+0.26-0.25AA61

Acc% 57316571425642

Hoff Valedictorian S C 925EBV+3.8+0.1+41.3+69.8+0.04+0.15AA59

Acc% 66578185525755

Netherton Elsam EBV+4.1+2.4+35.6+59.8-0.27+0.58AA59

Acc% 76417176484947

Curzon Proud GestryEBV+4.0-6.4+42.3+64.8+0.09+0.13AA58

Acc% 35265460191835

Double a Willie Boy 2S (AI)EBV+2.9+4.2+35.1+66.3-0.10+0.48AA58

Acc% 92729294647163

Monsieur Jolte R12 of KelleythEBV+5.7-4.4+39.9+69.4-0.13+0.27AA58

Acc% 69206875525746

Nightingale Panther P19EBV+4.3-2.0+36.3+53.8-0.21+0.63AA58

Acc% 60357983576853

Table 2:

Limousin trait leaders for beef value

Birth200-day200-day400-dayFat depthMuscleLimousin

Nameweightmilkgrowthgrowth(mm)scorebeef value


Greensons HobbitEBV+2.9+2.0+42.4+82.9-0.21+0.58LM88

Acc% 74406975626348

Ronick GainsEBV+4.7-2.3+37.5+61.8-0.31+0.68LM77

Acc% 95609394808666

Rachels HamletEBV+4.5-4.3+38.6+68.1+0.03+0.74LM72

Acc% 89417981636254

Almscliffe AlexanderEBV-0.5+8.1+21.5+51.1-0.58+0.01LM66

Acc% 94448992617961

Uplands BatmanEBV+3.8+0.2+30.8+57.9-0.18+0.54LM66

Acc% 90588387707258

Hartside Hensingham EBV+1.0+2.4 +27.0+52.20+0.70LM65

Acc% 85447881535452

Ronick IdolEBV+2.7+2.7+24.6+50.8-0.21+0.58LM64

Acc% 76356876446245


Acc% 86428184455953

Lumbylaw HandsomeEBV+4.0-0.3+21.1+41.9-0.09+1.03LM63

Acc% 92528384757458

Bradwell FervidorEBV+1.6-4.9+18.7+37.7-0.05+0.98LM62

Acc% 92558786496558

Table 3:

Simmental trait leaders for beef value

Birth200-day200-day400-dayFat depthMuscleSimmental

Nameweightmilkgrowthgrowth(mm)scorebeef value


Crailing BarristerEBV+4.0+0.4+46.0+79.2-0.06+0.56SM75

Acc% 91427980435252

Hockenhull North StarEBV+2.8+3.9+38.8+81.6+0.25+0.65SM72

Acc% 94769293747164

Hevingham AlphaEBV+3.2-0.3+36.6+67.1-0.05+0.70SM71

Acc% 90588687747561

Sacombe Wishfull ThinkingEBV+2.2-4.9+28.9+54.1+0.19+1.00SM67

Acc% 97599494758366

Woodhall BanditEBV+4.5-0.5+40.0+70.9-0.04+0.54SM67

Acc% 67477378565850

Balist (Imp G 1990) EBV+3.6+3.0+29.0+63.2-0.22+0.57SM66

Acc% 95339191738164

Camus BrandyEBV+4.0-3.3+46.4+73.0+0.13+0.45SM65

Acc% 93568081535653

Woodhall CaptainEBV+2.4-1.4+26.9+43.8-0.09+0.93SM65

Acc% 89508485727259

Shebdon AmbitionEBV+3.6+1.4+36.8+73.9+0.18+0.52SM64

Acc% 83527982495753

Agardsley AspelEBV+3.1+0.3+45.5+80.1+0.26+0.31SM63

Acc% 91618788617159

Table 6:

Hereford trait leaders for beef value

Birth200-day200-day400-dayFat depthMuscleHereford



SNS Generator 28XEBV+4.4-1.0+52.4+98.2-0.28+0.21HE77

Acc% 72369091717262

Clipston Juror DH AIEBV+3.9-2.6+43.7+74.2-0.46+0.19HE68

Acc% 50317276604950

Sarabande Jason DH AIEBV+3.9+0.6+34.8+71.1-0.39+0.67HE63

Acc% 63347175595849

T-Bar-K Focus ET 35ZEBV+5.0-0.5+40.9+81.1-0.14+0.32HE62

Acc% 61258082676656

BB Domino 1087 (Imp)EBV+3.8-10.1+54.4+79.0+0.62-0.18HE61

Acc% 66729393666964

Harvie Anxiety 30R (Imp)EBV+5.9-14.1+47.0+69.3+0.14+0.11HE59

Acc% 65698891616760

BP Extra 203U (Imp Semen)EBV+5.0-4.5+48.5+84.9-0.10-0.76HE58

Acc% 68468689656459

Fisher 1 Extra (P)EBV+4.8-4.0+38.6+71.2+0.23+0.59HE56

Acc% 68497881606153

Fisher 1 Ferrari (P) AIEBV+4.5-6.5+41.4+66.0+0.14+0.04HE54

Acc% 48426975525347

Chapelton 1 Fanfare (P)EBV+3.2-4.0+37.5+54.7-0.30-0.31HE52

Acc% 59437780575852

Table 7:

South Devon trait leaders for beef value

Birth200-day200-day400-dayFat depthMuscleSouth


(kg)(kg)(kg)(kg)(pts)beef value

Grove Midas 3EBV+3.8+0.4+43.4+68.2-0.53+0.65SD65

Acc% 76367478596551

Sexton Saturn 9EBV+3.3-4.6+26.7+61.9-0.35+1.16SD53

Acc% 86678990737562

Paper Mill TrumpEBV+4.3-9.3+38.7+75.8+0.50+1.50SD51

Acc% 85518386667357

AI Grove Brutus 17EBV+4.3-4.1+36.9+80.8+0.37+0.76SD47

Acc% 73447176605949

AI Grove Charlemagne 5EBV+5.7+0.7+40.7+85.2+0.38+0.40SD46

Acc% 90417982646754

ET Asdig Concorde 1EBV0-1.5+17.7+34.9-0.33+1.22SD45

Acc% 86497981676655

Nether Mynton Henchard 4EBV+1.4-2.1+25.7+49.9-0.08+0.91SD45

Acc% 85437982417352

Roskymer Saffrons Trump 1EBV+6.0-7.0+26.4+50.9-0.17+1.06SD45

Acc% 91669192757363

AI Highgate Pioneer 9EBV+4.4-1.9+27.8+42.3-0.24+0.63SD43

Acc% 96559596808667

Brookhay RomanyEBV+4.8-5.1+36.4+55.8+0.02+0.04SD42

Acc% 85749091716162

Table 5:

Blonde DAquitaine trait leaders for beef value

Birth200-day200-day400-dayFat depthMuscleBlonde


(kg)(kg)(kg)(kg)(pts)beef value

Bradnock IcarusEBV+5.0+0.1+48.5+94.9+0.15+0.04BA58

Acc% 68286770435744


Acc% 94388990657761

Druk FinlayEBV+2.7+1.6+40.1+70.5-0.18-0.06BA55

Acc% 82487579656452

Ganaway FrancisEBV+3.8-3.1+42.8+71.0+0.09BA55

Acc% 732962692539

Mosscroft InvincibleEBV+4.4+0.4+40.9+74.3+0.06+0.44BA55

Acc% 68266672445944

Arlequin EBV+3.3-2.2 +36.6+60.5-0.09+0.57BA54

Acc% 94359292758464

Fovant GeorgeEBV+4.5-0.1 +42.4+76.6+0.04+0.14BA53

Acc% 77377377626350

Blackwater FabianEBV+2.7+2.9+34.9+78.3+0.24+0.50BA50

Acc% 79457377435248

Hadley HankEBV+2.7+0.4+30.3+57.90+0.78BA50

Acc% 81327276466147

Carlinside UniroyalEBV+3.6+1.8+37.4+63.5-0.04-0.21BA46

Acc% 93769194858365

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.