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Foot and Mouth Disease

The Australian beef industry potentially faces an extremely serious situation with the outbreak of FMD in Indonesia. The outbreak started in April 2022 and there are now over 200,000 animals affected. A vaccination program commenced on June 14. On July 5th, it was reported that there were 63 cases in Bali.

While Australia has an incursion response pre planned, with vaccine available, the threat is not to be taken lightly. An outbreak in Australia of this contagious viral disease would have a severe effect on trade and animal health.

All farmers must educate themselves about FMD, check their animals regularly and know how best to prevent the disease entering Australia. Enforce your biosecurity protocols.

If you travel to Indonesia, try and avoid going near any animals, wash your clothes at a laundromat when you arrive home, and thoroughly clean your footwear.

Please click here for information about Foot and Mouth Disease


Further information about Foot and Mouth Disease

Cattle Council of Australia Foot and Mouth Information Hub



If you suspect any signs of FMD it must be reported to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888 or a local veterinarian immediately. (NSW DPI)

Shorthorn Beef Monthly Newsletter – JULY

Click the below link to view the July Newsletter!

Packed full with Dubbo National Show and Sale Results, AGM Report, Branch News, Genetics Opportunities for breeders, Important Reminders and more!


After several years of Covid-19 cancellations the Royal Melbourne Show is on again in 2022! 

As one of the premier show events in Australia, this presents another great opportunity for Shorthorn breeders and supporters to showcase and support the breed. The Victorian Shorthorn Committee encourages members to make the most of this opportunity, whether it be in the carcase completion, in the show ring or just in your general attendance and support.

In 2021 and 2022 the Shorthorn breed has had some fantastic results. This includes bull sales such as Naracoorte and stud sales, on Auctions Plus, at sale yards and with the JBS Thousand Guineas program. The Royal Melbourne show is another opportunity to raise the profile of the breed and continue this exciting momentum.

Members can begin entering animals in either the show/judging (from June 3rd) or carcase (from May 25th) competitions, with the entries closing on Tuesday July 26th.

Please see the links below:

Beef Carcase competition Enter here:
Beef Cattle competition Enter here:

Further details and specifics will be communicated in the coming weeks and Shorthorn Beef would love to see exhibitors, members and supporters around the show ring at the 2022 Royal Melbourne Show.

Image contributed by Dion Brook


By Branches Director/Minutes Secretary, Amanda Barlow

Thank you to all members who continue to be involved with the Shorthorn Beef branches. Branch members are still enjoying generally favourable seasonal conditions for their cattle. However this ranges from too much rain in the east to too little rain in SA. For the Riverina, it is the best start to the cropping season in a long time.

Presently, many branch members are preparing their bulls for Dubbo which should be a very strong sale. There are 105 bulls, 13 heifers and several genetics packages. This compares with 71 bulls offered last year. Good luck to all vendors!

The Tasmanian branch is to be commended for organising and running a Tasmanian Shorthorn Feature sale through Webb and Woodiwiss in April. There were over 20 lots of working age and yearling bulls, cow and calf units, PTIC and yearling heifers as well as commercial lines of weaner and yearling steers and heifers. Vendors included North Eastern, Royston, Sillwood and The Den Shorthorns. Some of the results were: 2 bulls sold, $5000 (Lot 5- Sillwood Reagan to JA & R Van Ruiswyk, King Island) and $4500(Lot 9- The Den Reload to Gibson Brothers)
-2/2 cow and calf units sold for $3500 to D & L LeFevre, Goulds Country
-2/2 PTIC Heifers sold to $4000 (Lot 16- Royston NTR Judith R61 to D & L LeFevre, Goulds Country) and averaged $3875.
Semen units sold to $120 a straw for Royalla Trigger.
There was strong demand for the commercial cattle with all lots selling. Highlights included: 6x PTIC Heifers a/c RS & RM Woodiwiss sold for $3030
-6x Yearling Heifers a/c RS & RM Woodiwiss sold for $1890
-Weaner Heifers a/c Aylett Contracting and BR Durham and Son made from $5.70-$5.86/kg, weighing from 210-257kg
-Yearling Steers a/c Sillwood Pastoral made $5.52-$5.53/kg, weighing from 298-317kg.

The Victorian branch is keen to highlight the upcoming Melbourne Show to members and encourage Shorthorn entries in both the Show and carcass competitions. Recently, Rob and Karen Rogers of Chester Shorthorns of Krowera, Victoria offered a small assortment of 6 PTIC Stud heifers on Auctions Plus. These sold for $4880 per head.

The South Australian branch is working very hard to organise its SA Junior Heifer Expo. This will take place 18-21 July at the Adelaide Showgrounds with the SA branch as one of the sponsors. Chair, Ben Golding, said that organisation is going very well with the event completely booked out in 2 days. Capacity was then extended and there are now approximately 171 competitors entered. They range in age from 8 to 24 and come from as far afield as WA, Queensland and NSW, as well as SA. Ben thinks it is nice to see people coming from interstate after Covid.

The Shorthorn Beef Board wishes all branches success with their events and continuation of high prices and favourable seasons throughout the rest of the year. Well done to all those selling Shorthorn cattle. It is wonderful to see buyers having the opportunity to purchase quality stud Shorthorn stock.

Beefing up your BREEDPLAN recording 1



Beefing up your Breedplan Recording 1


Why we need to measure up….

Selling bulls these days is all about demonstrating to the commercial breeder that your bulls can contribute to his herd’s performance and profitability – and the days of “motherhood statements” to describe a bull’s perceived potential are long gone.

A few points to consider about Breedplan….

(1) performance recording is not about saying which bull is best (leave that for the show judge) but rather, which bull best fits a breeder’s production and marketing goals – by describing the bull’s genetic profile for a number of traits.

(2) not all traits are of interest to every bull buyer, but given the diverse range of environments and markets that commercial breeders operate in, the stud breeder needs to provide as many trait profiles as he can if he is to satisfy the needs of the diverse range of prospective bull buyers.

(3) the highest EBVs are not necessarily the best. Commercial breeders are more interested in a balanced set of figures rather than extremes, and if the breed is making genetic progress for important production traits, EBVs on the right side of average will satisfy the needs of most commercial breeders.

(4) don’t get carried away with small differences in trait value – a few kg either way won’t really make a difference. Being in the top end is more important than being top!

(5) Breedplan doesn’t calculate an EBV for common sense, or quite a few other economically important traits such as structural soundness, temperament, muscle score and maturity type – that’s where you fine tune your selection.

(6) the savvy seedstock breeder needs to be performance recording his whole herd for the full menu of birth, growth, fertility, maternal and carcase traits AND be recording those traits with integrity and accuracy if he is to provide a useful array of EBVs and Selection Indexes to his clients, Compromise these standards and you may be providing inadequate or misleading information to your clients – a sure way to destroy a client’s confidence in your bulls, and the breed.


The savvy commercial breeder wants to know a bull’s credentials for a whole range growth, maternal reproductive and carcase traits. If you can’t provide that information, they will look elsewhere – perhaps even to a competing breed !

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Management groups – where a difference really makes a difference, and where size counts.

Most of the perceived problems with Breedplan are traced back to incorrect management-group recording. Get the management grouping right, and you’re a long way towards improving the accuracy and usefulness of your EBVs 

The basic premise of Breedplan is that it makes the best estimate of an animal’s genetic merit from the information available – an honest and straight-forward statement. How good the estimate is depends on how good the information is.

Good information is good in both quantity and quality – quantity reflects the number of measurements available on the animal and its close relatives, and quality reflects how well those measurements have been taken with regards to accuracy of measurement, contemporary group size, selective reporting etc.

As the EBV calculation is based on the difference between the individual’s performance and the group average – the bigger the group of animals being compared the better – but only if all the animals in the group have been treated similarly, otherwise the comparison will be biased.

Examples of getting it wrong include; feeding a few bulls in the group a bit extra to polish them up for a show, or splitting the group into separate paddocks that differ greatly in pasture history and treatment, or drenching some and not others, or castrating some male calves and leaving the rest entire.

These events will cause some animals to perform differently to their mates in the group – therefore the treated animals need to be compared as a separate group. Get that part wrong, and you have got the EBVs wrong !

Getting it right is sometimes a play-off between management group size and possible management group differences. You need to keep management groups as large as possible, so don’t go overboard in splitting groups unless you are convinced that the different circumstances will influence the performance of some animals within the group. On the other hand, don’t disregard management differences just to keep group size large – common sense needs to prevail.

A few tips to get your managements groups as meaningful as possible;

(1) keep the contemporary groups as large as possible. If you need to split a group, first do soon the basis of sex (bulls, steers, heifers), as Breedplan treats different sexes as different groups anyway. Next, weigh/measure all the animals in the group before you split it, even if it is a bit earlier than usual. The animals are then first compared as a single, large group, allowing valid across-group comparison after the split.

(2) record as a separate management group animals that have been treated differently to others in the group. If not sure, make a note alongside the animal’s record when you submit it to Breedplan

(3) weigh/measure all the animals in the group on the same day. If you weigh the group over several days Breedplan will consider the group has been split, even if you don’t.

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About Shorthorn

The Shorthorn breed is truly unique, from their distinctive roan colour, to their rich breed history and most importantly, the wonderful community of breeders, there is nothing else quite like a Shorthorn.

The key to the Shorthorn breeds advantage lies in their balanced genetic profile, driven by market participation that has been developed and refined, after more than 200 years of genetic selection under Australian conditions.

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