Breeding Wagyu


Wagyu cattle are a unique breed that is renowned for its marbling beef quality, that is gaining in popularity with hospitality and consumers. With the largest Wagyu herd outside of Japan, Australian Wagyu beef is now sold globally with 80-90% of production exported around the world.

To achieve quality Wagyu beef, genetics and nutrition play an important role. Australian Wagyu is initially grass fed on prime Australian pasture before making a gentle transition to grain to achieve the marbling beef quality that it is renowned for.

With a larger liveweight than most breeds, the carcase yield sold through branded beef labels, hospitality or wholesale attracts a high economic return. To realise that outcome, Wagyu breeding uses careful selection of high-level genetics.

There are three broad approaches to Wagyu breeding and beef production: Fullblood, Crossbred and Commercial.

Producing a quality herd, large or small, takes time and careful planning, but as a breed, Wagyu cattle are known for:

  • Outstanding beef eating quality
  • High marbling, delivering beef tenderness, juiciness and flavour
  • Softer fat composition: higher ratio of unsaturated fats – providing a healthier beef product
  • Finer meat texture
  • Strong dressing percentage and high retail beef yield
  • No excessive back fat
  • Calving ease
  • Fertility and virility
  • Quiet temperament
  • Versatile adaptation to environments
  • Early female maturity
  • Strong foragers
  • Transport well over long distances
  • Resilient in the feedlot

Learn more about breeding Fullblood, Crossbred and Commercial production systems.


The Wagyu Breeding Guide is a suite of carcase EBVs capable of predicting the genetic merit of a wide range of Wagyu sires and dams and BreedObject $Indexes, ranking animals  based on performance and carcase data records.

It is designed to enable breeders to apply their own priorities and select appropriate sire and dam breeding for the herd. Where the seedstock genetics are unavailable, a review of pedigrees will provide an alternative selection guideline.

This document is a unique milestone for the Wagyu breed both in Australia and internationally. It has been achieved through a funding partnership with Meat & Livestock Australia and support provided by AGBU and ABRI.

Divided in two parts, the introduction outlines the genetic background of Wagyu; the second document provides the EBV summary data and will be updated on a monthly basis.

Wagyu Breeding Guide Introduction 2019 (pdf  4.7Mb)

AWA Sire and Dam EBV Summary

April 2020 (PDF 2mb)

Disclaimer – It is important that you appreciate when viewing the AWA database that the information contained on the AWA database, including but not limited to, pedigree, DNA information, Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) and Index values, is based on data supplied by members and/or third parties.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information reported through AWA, the AWA officers and employees assume no responsibility for its content, use of interpretation. AWA disclaims all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs you may incur as a result of the use of the data on this AWA database and the information supplied by Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI) and Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU) being inaccurate or incomplete in any way for any reason.

It is very important to appreciate and you need to be aware that:

  • EBVs are derived using Wagyu Single-Step BREEDPLAN technology developed independently by the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU), using the information contained within the AWA database.
  • AGBU is a joint venture of NSW Department of Primary Industries and the University of New England, which receives funding for this purpose from Meat and Livestock Australia Limited.
  • AWA relies solely on advice provided by AGBU and ABRI in accepting Wagyu Single-Step BREEDPLAN software.
  • EBVs pubished in Wagyu Single-Step BREEDPLAN are estimates of genetic potential of individual animals and may not reflect the raw animal phenotype.
  • EBVs can only by directly compared to other EBVs calculated in the same monthly Wagyu Group BREEDPLAN run.

Regarding pedigree and DNA testing results submitted to the AWA, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • Pedigree and DNA data submitted and supplied to AWA may have errors in it which cannot be detected without further DNA testing.
  • Technology may have advanced since a particular test was undertaken so that previous inaccuracies which were not detectable are now able to be detected by current testing technology.
  • AWA estimates that less than 1% of the pedigree entries in the AWA Herdbook may have errors or which may be misleading.   For this reason, users ought to consider if they need to obtain independent testing of the relevant animal (if possible) to ensure that the data is accurate.

If you consider that you do not understand or appreciate the nature and extent of the data provided on this website or the eBVs of a particular animal then AWA strongly recommends that you seek independent expert advice.