How to juggle the many and varied demands on cattle breeding programs – from meat eating quality to herd fertility – will be tackled at the next episode of the Intercollegiate Meat Judging Association (ICMJ) webinar series, to be held on Wednesday October 21.
Addressing the topic of ‘Rumps 'n Humps, Eggs 'n Pregs – How we can breed for them all?’, will be Dr David Johnston from the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit at the University of New England (UNE) and Bec Burnham, Nuffield Scholar and Central Queensland Brahman breeder.
Dr Johnston said cattle breeders were being increasingly challenged to balance genetic selection, pasture management and consumer expectations of meat-eating quality.
“How to prioritise genetic selection and management decisions to maximise herd fertility, beef yield per hectare and meat eating quality is a major challenge for the beef industry, and one that producers need to get right if they are going to remain profitable and productive in the future,” he said.
Ms Burhnam will provide a producer’s perspective, with insights gained from her 2019 Nuffield Scholarship through which she investigated technologies from around the globe that can be incorporated into beef production systems to increase the rate of genetic gain and enhance profit drivers such as fertility, market compliance and production efficiencies.
“If we can’t measure it, we can’t manage it, and I am excited by the benefits open to producers through technologies like genomics, that can provide information on hard to measure traits and enable more targeted seedstock selection,” she said.