Beef breeding insights at forum

Callum HunterSouth Western Times

Dozens of cattle breeders from around the State are set to converge on Bunbury at the end of the month for the 2019 SBTS and TBTS Regional Forum.

The two-day forum will be one of 14 around the country and one of just three here in WA, the other venues being Albany and Perth.

“The last time we were in WA was January 2017,” Southern Beef Technology Services technical officer Catriona Millen said.

“I can map where all of our Breedplan herds are located around the country and when I mapped WA, the majority are in that South West corner and there’s quite a few near Bunbury.

“We’re hoping to do them every couple of years.”

Day one of the forum has been designed for cattle breeders that are new to Breedplan, a modern genetic evaluation system for beef cattle, and those who may wish to refresh their Breedplan knowledge.

Day two will be for those wishing to gain a deeper understanding of the applications of DNA technology for beef breeding.

“We’re going to be talking about managing genetic conditions within the feedstock industry, parent verification and genomic data flowing into the Breedplan analysis,” Ms Millen said.

At the end of the forum, producers will be provided with a genetic progress report, allowing them to benchmark their genetic position and track genetic progress.

Western Beef executive officer and farm adviser Dr Jeisane Accioly said the forum was a rare opportunity for local producers to learn from genetics experts and strongly recommended local producers attended.

“When you purchase an animal, looking at it is very important but it doesn’t give you much information on their future production,” she said.

“It might look good, but it might not have very good genetics ... by understanding genetic links, you can gain a lot of time in advancing because it can collect a lot of information about the genetics of the whole family.

“We don’t often have expertise like this coming over; it’s easy and practical with opportunities for questions and lots of examples — it’s very accessible.”

The Bunbury SBTS and TBTS Regional Forum will be at the Sanctuary Golf Resort on July 29 and 30.

Registrations close on July 22.

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