Wagyu Sire Progeny Test Program

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Wagyu sire progeny test program underway

The Wagyu Sire Progeny Test Program is underway to test promising sires for feed efficiency and carcase quality, delivering the data directly into Wagyu BREEDPLAN analysis. This program is the most comprehensive way to compare the genetic impact of your sires with the rest of the Wagyu industry.

The AWA Sire Progeny Test Program at Kerwee feedlot has now seen over 620 animals fed through the GrowSafe NFI facility. The first two cohorts have been killed through the Stockyard branded supply chain having collected full performance data for growth, feed conversion, health and carcase grading outcomes in a commercial relevant setting. 

Preliminary data from this project have shown that good feed efficiency does not negatively impact growth or marbling. Selection based on NFI could, therefore, enhance the profitability of cattle if included in a balance selection program. We have benchmarked outcomes with the most commonly used sires including Itoshiganami and Michifuku and are looking to prove the next elite sire.

Whether your Wagyu herd is 10, 100 or 1000 cows, if you are breeding Wagyu bulls and are in it for the long haul, then this program is a must for you. AWA will stage three Wagyu Sire Test rounds per year. The July 2016 Sire Test was fully subscribed by Darren Hamblin’s Strathdale Wagyu operation in Central Queensland. Nine key industry sires are being tested with their 180 progeny currently in the program’s Net Feed Intake (NFI) facility at Kerwee Feedlot. Darren is keen to quickly discover the feed efficiency potential of his team of high indexing sires and receive accurate carcase data at slaughter.

“We are keen to support Kerwee as well as the industry which is set to gain so much from this project”, said Mr Hamblin who has an extensive growth and carcase database but this NFI testing will “fill in a missing part of the financial puzzle. We could have sires that are equal to growth and carcase but we have not been able to identify which one converts feed to weight most efficiently.”

When is the next Net Feed Intake Test Period?

The April 2018 Sire Progeny Test Program is now open. We are calling for test sires to be nominated and delivered to Kerwee Lotfeeders by mid-April  All data collected will be entered on your behalf directly into Wagyu BREEDPLAN.

Another Progeny Test Program is planned for August 2018.

To arrange details of entries in April or August 2018 please contact Steve Martin or Carel Teseling.

This Sire Progeny Test Program is on the move. If you think you have sires with their progeny cohort groups ready to test, or just want to check out the opportunity and plan for future intakes contact Steve Martin.

More information

Steve Martin
Kerwee Lotfeeders Pty Ltd
Phone: 07 4692 2277 or 0437 569 765 or send Steve an email

Carel Teseling
Australian Wagyu Association
Phone: 02 6773 4222 or 0439 368 283 or send Carel an email

Comparing genetics in a commercial feedlot environment

The industry is hungry for proven genetics” said President Peter Gilmour. “This is by far the easiest way for members to capture this critical NFI and carcase data and get it into BREEDPLAN for accurate genetic analysis and benchmark comparison.”

About the program

The Wagyu breed is set to benefit immensely from Australia’s first Wagyu sire progeny test program.

Australian Wagyu Association and Kerwee Lot Feeders on Queensland’s Darling Downs have developed a comprehensive sire test program.

Kerwee has installed GrowSafe feed bins to test Net Feed Intake (NFI) to determine a sire’s progeny group’s feed efficiency. This is a first for a commercial feedlot in Australia, in two feed yards with a total capacity of 180 head. Three intakes a year can be assessed.

Kerwee is responsible for a 28 day settling in period, NFI testing over 70 days, custom feeding for another 350 days, regular weighing and provision of data to owners and the AWA to use in Breedplan EBV generation. At slaughter, carcase analysis will include digital imaging through a camera specially developed in Japan to assess Wagyu-type carcases for eye muscle area, marbling percentage and marbling fineness with an accuracy much greater than through AUS-MEAT or MSA visual assessment.

AWA technical services manager Carel Teseling said because Wagyu were long fed on grain, feed efficiency is crucial.

“High ranking Wagyu bulls are in demand. The early adopters of this new testing program will be the first to identify superior sires – and they will be the winners!,” said Mr Teseling. For example, 10 straws of semen for the breed’s leading Fullblood Terminal Index sire sold at the 2016 Wagyu Conference for $30,500 or $3050/straw to an overseas buyer.

“The industry is hungry for proven genetics”, he said.