10 Feb 2018

Kaiuroo & AGBU

The collaboration between Kaiuroo management and AGBU began in 2015, and aimed to develop a breeding program which would generate rapid genetic gain for economically important female reproduction, growth and meat quality traits in a Brahman seedstock herd with a history of pedigree and performance recording. 2017 was a significant year for the partnership as it saw the first progeny born which were the product of the breeding objectives developed at the beginning of the project. 2017 born animals had, on average, 0.46 days lower days to calving EBVs, 2.3kg higher 600 day weight EBVs, and were $3.00 higher for the Brahman JapOX index than the previous year’s progeny, which can be compared to historical averages for these traits of -0.1 days, +1.04kg and +$0.52 improvement per year respectively.

The development of a Kaiuroo Organic selection index has been an objective of the collaboration since its inception. The index was developed based on accurate modelling of the production system and markets where progeny of Kaiuroo sires are expected to perform. The resulting index confirmed the importance of female reproductive performance, efficient growth, moderate cow size and meat quality to profitability. An analysis of historical Kaiuroo/Tartrus data showed that, on average, Kaiuroo organic index had increased at a rate of +$0.5/year since 2000. The selection decisions made to produce the 2017 progeny saw an increase in Kaiuroo Organic index of +$7.2 compared to that for 2016 born animals still in the herd. Mating decisions which will produce the 2018 generation have been finalised, and mid-parent values for those animals project an average improvement of +$9.5 in Kaiuroo organic index. These are impressive rates of genetic progress for an extensively managed beef herd and will see real improvements in the profitability of Kaiuroo progeny.

Finally, in 2017 the partnership developed and submitted an application for MDC funds to contribute to the Kaiuroo recording program. This was successful, and will significantly benefit the Brahman breed’s genetic evaluation for female and male reproductive performance and underpin genomic evaluation at the breed level.