NEOGEN BEEFS UP SELECTION TOOLS

NEOGEN operates Australia’s longest running livestock genomics testing facility, which has been based at the based at the University of Queensland since the 1980s and has led the development of new DNA tests specifically designed to assist Australian cattle breeders take their genetic selection decisions to the next level.

The NEOGEN GGP 50K test identifies the gene markers that have the greatest influence on economically important traits and is ideal for Shorthorn breeders of sale and herd bulls.

“Genomic testing is a proven method of increasing the rate of genetic improvement in your herd, delivering more profitable stock to your business faster,” NEOGEN sales and marketing manager Sarah Buttsworth said.

“Genomic testing allows animal breeders to make more informed decisions and improve the productivity and profitability of their businesses by accessing more precise information earlier in an animal’s lifecycle,”

Ms Buttsworth said NEOGEN’s GGP 50K test would also ensure that Australian breeders could make the most of Shorthorn Beef’s partnerships with IGS in North America, with results from the NEOGEN system flowing straight into the IGS calculations for estimated progeny differences (EPDs).

“In fact, the more producers who use genomic testing, the more accurate the genomic predictions from IGS will become for Australian breeders,” she said.

Like Shorthorn Beef, NEOGEN last year entered into a partnership with IGS to ensure the world’s leading test provider and the world’s largest genetic database were working in sync.

Adoption of the IGS system has allowed Shorthorn Beef to put the Australian Shorthorn population on the same database as the United States and Canadian Shorthorn herds, vastly improving the ability to generate accurate EPDs to enhance genetic selection decisions.

“It gives our members a competitive edge and the chance to get ahead of the herd when it comes to genetics,” Shorthorn Beef Business and Promotions Manager Graham Winnell said. “By working with NEOGEN Australasia, we can assist more Australian breeders to take advantage of the power of genomics and increase our representation on IGS’s international genetic database.”

To maximise opportunities to benefit from these relationships, a collaborative agreement has been reached between Shorthorn Beef and Neogen Australasia, called the Moove Program.

The Moove Program is a collaborative research project between Shorthorn Beef and Neogen Australasia with the aim to increase both phenotypic and genotypic data collection across Shorthorn and Shorthorn cross females in Australia.

HOW THE MOOVE PROGRAM WORKS

Shorthorn breeders will have access to a limited number of research genotypes at heavily discounted prices. Members can apply to include their heifers for testing at $27.50 inc. GST for GGP-50K panels only or $31.90 inc. GST if they also wish to include parentage.

Even in the genomic world, phenotypes are still king. In fact, genomics make collecting phenotypes more important, not less.

Building a genomic reference population, requires not only animals that are genotyped but also animals that have had phenotypes accurately collected as well.

Heifer contemporaries are the preferred group to genotype for the Moove Program, however it is important that the key maternal traits are recorded on genotyped females as they progress through the breeding herd.

Only TSU samples will be accepted for the Moove Program.

Heifers are preferred as they offer the largest contemporary group and members must agree to test 90% of all heifers retained.

Limited numbers of yearling and mature age females may also be eligible depending on the level of traits recorded within their contemporary group.

“This a fantastic program for the Shorthorn breed as we move further into the genomic age.” Graham Winnell, Shorthorn Beef General manager said.

“Maternal efficiency is the largest profit driver for any beef producer and yet measuring maternal traits can be the most challenging. The Moove program provides tremendous opportunities to lift the accuracy of predictions, whilst ensuring the largest possible reference population for the Shorthorn breed.”

“This a real game changer for the Shorthorn breed in Australia.”

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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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