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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.

EBV’s and Accuracies


Shorthorn Breed Average EBVs

Understanding the EBVs and Accuracies

Understanding EBV’s download for catalogue


An animal’s breeding value is its genetic merit, half of which will be passed on to its progeny. While we will never know the exact breeding value, for performance traits it is possible to make good estimates. These estimates are called Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs).

In the calculation of EBVs, the performance of individual animals within a contemporary group is directly compared to the average of other animals in that group. A contemporary group consists of animals of the same sex and age class within a herd, run under the same management conditions and treated equally. Indirect comparisons are made between animals reared in different contemporary groups, through the use of pedigree links between the groups.

EBVs are expressed in the units of measurement for each particular trait. They are shown as + ive or – ive differences between an individual animal’s genetics difference and the genetic base to which the animal is compared. For example, a bull with an EBV of +50 kg for 600-Day Weight is estimated to have genetic merit 50 kg above the breed base of 0 kg. Since the breed base is set to an historical benchmark, the average EBVs of animals in each year drop has changed over time as a result of genetic progress within the breed.

The absolute value of any EBV is not critical, but rather the differences in EBVs between animals. Particular animals should be viewed as being “above or below breed average” for a particular trait.

Whilst EBVs provide the best basis for the comparison of the genetic merit of animals reared in different environments and management conditions, they can only be used to compare animals analysed within the same analysis. Consequently, Shorthorn BREEDPLAN EBVs cannot be validly compared with EBVs for any other breed.

Although EBVs provide an estimate of an animal’s genetic merit for a range of production traits, they do not provide information for all of the traits that must be considered during selection of functional animals. In all situations, EBVs should be used in conjunction with visual assessment for other traits of importance (structural soundness, temperament, fertility etc). A recommended practice is to firstly select breeding stock based on EBVs and to then select from this group to ensure that the final selections are visually acceptable.

EBVs are published for a range of traits covering fertility, milking ability, growth, and carcase merit. When using EBVs to assist in selection decisions it is important to achieve a balance between the different groups of traits and to place emphasis on those traits that are important to the particular herd, markets and environment. One of the advantages of having a comprehensive range of EBVs is that it is possible to avoid extremes in particular traits and select for animals with balanced overall performance.


Calving Ease EBVs (%) are based on calving difficulty scores, birth weights and gestation length information. More positive EBVs are favourable and indicate easier calving.


CE % Direct = Direct Calving Ease – The EBV for direct calving ease indicates the influence of the sire on calving ease in purebred females calving at two years of age.

CE % Daughters = Daughters’ Calving Ease – The EBV for daughters’ calving ease indicates how easily that sire’s daughters will calve at two years of age.

Gestation Length EBV (days) is an estimate of the time from conception to the birth of the calf and is based on AI and hand mating records. Lower (negative) GL EBVs indicate shorter gestation length and therefore easier calving and increased growth after birth.


Birth Weight EBV (kg) is based on the measured birth weight of progeny, adjusted for dam age. The lower the value the lighter the calf at birth and the lower the likelihood of a difficult birth. This is particularly important when selecting sires for use over heifers.


200-Day Growth EBV (kg) is calculated from the weight of progeny taken between 80 and 300 days of age. Values are adjusted to 200 days and for age of dam. This EBV is the best single estimate of an animal’s genetic merit for growth to early ages.


400-Day Weight EBV (kg) is calculated from the weight of progeny taken between 301 and 500 days of age, adjusted to 400 days and for age of dam. This EBV is the best single estimate of an animal’s genetic merit for yearling weight.


600-Day Weight EBV (kg) is calculated from the weight of progeny taken between 501 and 900 days of age, adjusted to 600 days and for age of dam. This EBV is the best single estimate of an animal’s genetic merit for growth beyond yearling age.


Mature Cow Weight EBV (kg) is based on the cow weight when the calf is weighed for weaning, adjusted to 5 years of age. This EBV is an estimate of the genetic difference in cow weight at 5 years of age and is an indicator of growth at later ages and potential feed maintenance requirements of the females in the breeding herd. Steer breeders wishing to grow animals out to a larger weight may also use the Mature Cow Weight EBV.


Milk EBV (kg) is an estimate of an animal’s milking ability. For sires, this EBV indicates the effect of the daughter’s milking ability, inherited from the sire, on the 200-day weights of her calves. For dams, it indicates her milking ability.


Scrotal Size EBV (cm) is calculated from the circumference of the scrotum taken between 300 and 700 days of age and adjusted to 400 days of age. This EBV is an estimate of an animal’s genetic merit for scrotal size. There is also a small negative correlation with age of puberty in female progeny and therefore selection for increased scrotal size will result in reduced age at calving of female progeny.


Days to Calving EBV (days) measures the Genetic differences between animals in the time from the start of the joining period (i.e. when the female is introduced to a bull) until subsequent calving. Days to Calving is one of the main measures of female fertility.


Carcase Weight EBV (kg) is based on abattoir carcase records and is an indicator of the genetic differences in carcase weight at the standard age of 650 days.


Eye Muscle Area EBV (sq cm) is calculated from measurements from live animal ultrasound scans and from abattoir carcase data, adjusted to a standard 300 kg carcase. This EBV estimates genetic differences in eye muscle area at the 12/13th rib site of a 300 kg dressed carcase. More positive EBVs indicate better muscling on animals. Animals with relatively higher EMA EBVs are expected to produce better muscled and higher percentage yielding progeny at the same carcase weight than will animals with lower EMA EBVs.


Rib Fat and Rump Fat EBVs (mm) are calculated from measurements of subcutaneous fat depth at the 12/13-rib site and the P8 rump site (from live animal ultrasound scans and from abattoir carcases) and are adjusted to a standard 300 kg carcase. These EBVs are indicators of the genetic differences in fat distribution on a standard 300 kg carcase. Animals with relatively lower fat EBVs are expected to produce leaner progeny at any particular carcase weight than will animals with higher EBVs.


Retail Beef Yield EBV (%) indicates genetic differences between animals for retail yield percentage in a standard 300 kg carcase. Animals with larger EBVs are expected to produce progeny with higher yielding carcases.


Intramuscular Fat EBV (%) is an estimate of the genetic difference in the percentage of intramuscular fat at the 12/13th rib site in a 300 kg carcase. Depending on market targets, larger more positive values are generally more favourable.

More information is available on BREEDPLANtraits and data on the BREEDPLAN website.



Accuracy (%) is based on the amount of performance information available on the animal and its close relatives – particularly the number of progeny analysed. Accuracy is also based on the heritability of the trait and the genetic correlations with other recorded traits. Hence accuracy indicates the “confidence level” of the EBV. The higher the accuracy value the lower the likelihood of change in the animal’s EBV as more information is analysed for that animal or its relatives. Even though an EBV with a low accuracy may change in the future, it is still the best estimate of an animal’s genetic merit for that trait. As more information becomes available, an EBV is just as likely to increase in value, as it is to decrease.

Accuracy values range from 0-99%. The following guide is given for interpreting accuracy:

Accuracy range  Interpretation
 less than 50%  Low accuracy.  EBVs are preliminary and could change substantially as more performance information becomes available.
 50-74%  Medium accuracy, usually based on the animal’s own records and pedigree.
 75-90%  Medium-high accuracy.  Some progeny information included.  EBVs may change with addition of more progeny data.
 more than 90%  High accuracy estimate of the animal’s true breeding value.

For further information please contact Shorthorn Beef or Shorthorn BREEDPLAN

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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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