BREEDPLAN

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.

Provided by the Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI) to both Australian and international clients, BREEDPLAN represents the most widely used genetic evaluation service for beef cattle internationally. Over 60 different BREEDPLAN evaluations have been developed, representing over 14 million animals, almost 40 beef cattle breeds and at least 100 breed associations distributed across 14 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 Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) for recorded cattle across a range of important production traits. While BREEDPLAN technology can be used at a number of levels, those wishing to join a BREEDPLAN analysis typically do so via a breed society/association (or breeding group). Within a breed society analysis, members are able to compare BREEDPLAN EBVs between herds. International genetic evaluations are also common, where breed societies from a number of countries pool their data for analysis (e.g. TransTasman BREEDPLAN analyses). There are also options available outside of the breed society structure (e.g. for commercial breeders or composite and crossbred herds).

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. Since 2017, a number of BREEDPLAN analyses have moved to incorporate genomic information in the form of Single-Step BREEDPLAN.

EBVs are expressed in the actual units of measurement. For example, 200 Day Growth EBVs are reported in kilograms, while Rib Fat EBVs are reported in millimetres of fat. EBVs are reported as being positive or negative, relative to a historic benchmark for each trait. More importantly, breed average EBVs and percentile bands allow beef producers to rank animals relative to the current level of genetics within the population being analysed.

Analysed Traits

BREEDPLAN calculates EBVs for a wide range of production traits. These EBVs provide an estimate of the animal’s genetic worth and thus provide a useful tool for beef producers wishing to improve the genetics in their herd. BREEDPLAN can also report Estimated Progeny Differences (EPDs) to conform to reporting conventions in other countries.

The diagram below lists the BREEDPLAN EBVs that are currently being produced. Note: not all analyses offer all traits.

 

Getting More Out of BREEDPLAN

In addition to the BREEDPLAN technology, there are a range of associated genetic products which ABRI offers commercially. These products are designed to help beef breeders assess and manage genetic progress within their herds. The products are listed in the sub menu options on this page, and in the main website Products menu.