Genetic Evaluation System

BREEDPLAN offers all beef cattle breeders the potential to accelerate genetic progress in their herds and to provide objective information on stock they sell. Developed in Australia, BREEDPLAN is now used in many of the world’s prominent beef producing countries.

BREEDPLAN is the national beef recording system in Australia, New Zealand, Namibia, Thailand and the Philippines. Its use is increasing in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, South Africa, Hungary and South America.

BREEDPLAN uses an advanced, modern genetic evaluation system (based on Best Linear Unbiased Prediction (BLUP) technology incorporating multi-trait analysis procedures) to produce estimates of breeding values (EBVs or EPDs) for recorded cattle across a range of important production traits. BREEDPLAN technology can be used at a number of levels, such as within-herd analyses for individual breeders, across herd analyses for members of a breed association (or breeding group) or international genetic evaluation where breed associations from a number of countries pool their data for analysis.

The rationale for this is simple - the larger the population of cattle being evaluated the higher the chance of finding elite genetic material which can then be rapidly disseminated using modern artificial breeding techniques.

Included in the calculation of EBVs for each animal is the animals own pedigree and performance information, the performance of all known relatives, the performance of any progeny that the animal may have, the known relationship between traits, and any genomic information that may be available regarding the animal.

EBVs are expressed in the actual units of measurement, for example rib fat is stated in millimetres of fat, and reported as being positive or negative relative to a historic benchmark group of animals for each trait.

Analysed Traits

BREEDPLAN calculates the estimation of an animal’s genetic worth for a wide range of production traits. The results are reported as EBVs, which are an estimate of the animal’s true breeding value. BREEDPLAN can also report estimates of animals’ true breeding values as Estimated Progeny Differences (EPDs) to conform to reporting conventions in some countries.

The diagram shows which EBVs for economically important traits are currently being produced. Note: not all breeds offer all traits.

Getting More Out of BREEDPLAN

BREEDPLAN has a range of companion products, designed to help beef breeders assess and manage genetic progress within their herds. These products are listed in the sub menu options on this page, and in the main website Products menu.