Wagyu Cattle Set For Productivity Surge

AUSTRALIA – Great leaps forward are expected for the Wagyu cattle industry with the arrival of genetic monitoring and sexed semen.
calendar icon 5 June 2013
clock icon 2 minute read

The new sexed Australian Wagyu semen offers 90 per cent males or females and is available for both domestic and export use.

Ken Dungey, Director at semen and embryo producers Lake Wagyu said that beef producers and breeders will benefit from the extra control in breeding.

“Steers are the focus in some production systems while other producers are intent on breeding up their female numbers and sexed semen can ensure these objectives are met.”

“Although sexed semen is more expensive than unsexed semen, it is much cheaper than solving the problem of what to do with unwanted bulls or less profitable heifers,” he stated.

One donor sire is Lake Wagyu C87 by Michifuku and out of an Itozurudoi dam that carries Itomichi genetics.

A second donor sire is Moyhu F054 by Yukiharunami 4 and out of a TWA Shikikan daughter.

In addition to improvements in the breeding of Wagyu cattle, genetic monitoring techniques are set to make finishing cattle more productive.

By identifying the breed’s leading genetics, farmers will be able to opt for the most productive lines of cattle.

The first stage of the process, according to the Wagyu Beef Information Nucleus (BIN) is to develop a genomic test for production traits by tracking the development of 1000 pedigree steers through feedlots.

After slaughter, the use of a specially designed digital camera will capture meat marbling and other important carcass data. Such fine scrutiny of beef finishing and quality is not currently done for any other breed in Australia, stated Australian Wagyu Association’s Executive Officer Graham Truscott.

“Wagyu is the only breed in Australia utilising the combination of this high level carcase imaging technology linked to 800k SNP analysis for 130 of the breeds top sires and dams and a more economical 10k SNP analysis for the steer cattle in the project.”

All data will be collated and put into the BREEDPLAN system, a herd recording project thought to bring immense benefit to understanding cattle genomics.

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