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Identify High Performers


Breeding success for the future

Genetic selection in northern Australian cattle

Improved breeding management can increase economic returns to producers

  • Reproduction rate is one of the key factors affecting the affecting the profitability of beef cattle breeding in northern Australia1,4
  • Lifetime reproduction potential is influenced be genetics and can be improved by selection
  • A range of genetic and reproductive technologies are available which can help achieve production targets

Genetic selection is important for the future of your herd

  • Genetic improvement in your herd is affordable, permanent and cumulative over generations1
  • It is important to balance selection for fertility with the required growth and carcass traits in both male and female cattle4


87.5% of the genetics in any herd are the result of the last 3 generations of sires used in that herd2


How can you identify suitable sires and dams for the next generation

  • Accurate pedigree records are a crucial ingredient for maximising genetic gain and profitability in cattle breeding operations
  • Measurement traits in bulls such as scrotal circumference, semen quality and sperm characteristics are correlated with earlier puberty and a shorter interval from calving to first oestrus cycle in female relatives1,5
  • Reproductive performance can be improved through the use of sires with above average Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) for Days to Calving and Scrotal Circumference

A bull breeding soundness evaluation (BBSE) involves assessing four key components of fertility:


Key selection criteria for breeding cattle2

Select bulls that are:

  1. Docile
  2. Reproductively sound (confirmed by BBSE)
  3. Above breed average genetic merit (EBV) for key measurements of fertility, growth and carcass
  4. Polled where possible

Retain females in the breeding herd that:

  1. Achieve puberty at a moderate body weight
  2. Re-conceive within 4 months of calving
  3. Wean a calf every year
  4. Are the offspring of bulls that meet the reproductive criteria above
  5. Polled where possible

Increase precision breeding with SireTRACE


SireTRACE can help you:

  1. identify genetically superior sires through accurate pedigree records underpinning genetic evaluation
  2. ensure all sires are working to their expected potential
  3. select future herd sires based on the superior performance of their parents
  4. ensure female replacements are the offspring of bulls that are above-average genetic merit

Achieve your breeding objectives with the HornPoll test

Horn Poll Logo

Genetically polled herds benefit from savings in:


The HornPoll test allows producers to identify animals that are "true polled" and will consequently produce a higher proportion or polled offspring. Selection for polled must be balanced with selection for other economically important traits such as fertility.


1. Meat & Livestock Australia. Managing the breeder herd: practical steps to breeding livestock in northern Australia. May 2006. 

2. Northern Beef Management Guidelines, 2014. Zoetis Data on File.

3. Bunter KL et al. Anim Prod Sci 2014;25-36, 4.

4. Meat & Livestock Australia 2015. Technical Synopsis: Cash Cow Findings. Insights into the productivity and performance of northern breeding herds. ISBN 9781740363020. 

5. Johnston DJ. et al (2014) Genetic correlations of young bull reproductive traits and heifer puberty traits with female reproductive performance in two tropical beef genotypes in northern Australia. Animal Production Science; 54: 74-84

Further Reading

A Better Way To Buy