Key Learnings from the 2023 AAABG Conference

BREEDPLAN & ABRI Extension Personnel Present

Sep 2023

The 25th Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics conference was held in Perth, WA on 26-28 July. This international conference attracted approximately 200 individuals from around the world, including breeders, livestock scientists and other service providers, to discuss current research and the application of livestock genetics in animal breeding.

ABRI was well represented with Dr. Brad Crook (BREEDPLAN) and the ABRI Extension Services team in attendance. At the conference, Brad presented two studies that he has recently undertaken for ABRI’s international clients. The first study investigated the genetic parameters for linear type traits with the National Association of Hungarian Charolais Cattle Breeders, while the second study investigated the genetic structure of Brahman cattle populations in Southern Africa. Dr. Boyd Gudex also presented a paper at AAABG, outlining recent breeding objectives and selection index development for eight Australian beef cattle breed societies.

Other key messages, relevant to beef producers, to come out of the 2023 AAABG conference included:

  • Single-Step BREEDPLAN analyses are delivering increased accuracy of EBVs. A research paper presented by Dr. David Johnston from the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU) investigated the impacts of Single-Step BREEDPLAN for the Angus, Brahman, Hereford, Santa Gertrudis and Wagyu breeds. Increased EBV accuracies were observed across the full range of EBVs and breeds, compared to traditional BREEDPLAN analyses (no genomic information). 
  • Industry funded research projects continue to contribute to BREEDPLAN. A number of research papers outlined results from industry-funded research projects, such as the Southern Multi-Breed project, that are currently underway. Industry funded research projects continue to provide quality phenotypes to a number of BREEDPLAN analyses, and are also valuable resources for the development of Single-Step BREEDPLAN analyses.
  • Research into existing and new traits for BREEDPLAN continues. Many of the papers presented at AAABG outlined ongoing research in areas such as animal health and welfare (e.g. body condition score) and environmental efficiencies (e.g. feed intake, methane). There was much discussion on new phenotyping methods (e.g. collars) and trait development, which may have implications for BREEDPLAN in the future.

For further information on AAABG, visit the AAABG website. Full conference proceedings for the 2023 AAABG conference are also available, and can be downloaded here.

BREEDPLAN is proud to have been a Bronze Sponsor of the 2023 AAABG conference

L-R: Brad Crook (BREEDPLAN) and ABRI Extension Services team members Catriona Millen, Boyd Gudex and Paul Williams at the AAABG conference in Perth.