The Australian Wagyu Association (AWA) has implemented four world-leading BreedObject $Indexes. This is a significant step forward for Wagyu breeders to achieve faster rates of genetic gain and selection for profitability in Wagyu.
Following implementation of Single-step Wagyu BREEDPLAN in April 2018, the AWA has worked intensively with the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU) to develop and deliver the Wagyu BreedObject $Indexes.
The four profitability $Indexes are designed to optimise profit outcomes from commercial breeder, self-replacing, Fullblood terminal and F1 terminal production systems. The three indexes are:
The AWA CEO, Dr Matt McDonagh affirmed that each of the $Indexes are targeted specifically to a defined production and market scenario and that members should identify and use the index that best suits their purpose. It is not appropriate to compare index values of different $Indexes as they are based on different production model assumptions.
“It is not the index with the highest $ value that you should use, it is the index that best reflects your production system”.
The Wagyu Breeder Index aims to select bulls to produce profitable females for the production of steer progeny, while the Self-replacing Breeding Index can be used to select bulls that will produce more profitable females for retention in Fullblood or Purebred herds. The Fullblood Terminal and F1 Terminal Indexes can be used to select bulls that will produce more profitable slaughter progeny.
Dr Brad Walmsley of the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit commented that “The $Indexes that Wagyu have implemented are the first publicly available indexes of their kind within Australia and the world for that matter. Wagyu are at the cutting edge of genetic evaluation, having implemented Single-step BREEDPLAN that uses genomic information and now being the first Breed Association to implement the new generation of BreedObject $Indexes.”
To learn more about the BreedObject $Indexes download the BreedObject fact sheets.