National Beef Evaluation System

Albert Einstein so tersely stated “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”

Initially there was no Brahman Breedplan so we used the strong BLUP global analysis template of Fleckvieh & Simmental, which was by far the most robust database in the world.  CBV backed the ideals and development of NBRS (National Beef Recording Scheme) with the aim of sieving out the truly effective genetics. So Brahman Breedplan was conceived and born.  “We had no equipment and no money, so we had to use our brains” Lord Rutherford, when questioned about the development of nuclear power. 

Our primary aims were reproduction speed and weaning success, encompassing survival and low cost operation.  NBRS focussed on growth primarily, which was of interest to CBV, as we hunted for speed of gain in moderate frame, very fleshy cattle with rapid acceleration on grass, ALWAYS OVERIDDEN with selection for reproduction speed.

The ‘good doing’ or thrifty cattle became even more apparent, backed by NBRS genetic linkage.

The factor that made NBRS so helpful to us was the complete support of Jack Allen at NBRS and Hans Graser at AGBU, who often ran exploratory data analysis for CBV in the unofficial search for excellence – the downstream effects were almost instant for CBV, and sometimes 5, 10, or 15 years later became policy for NBRS. Jack Allen has given enormous personal effort in our collective efforts to unravel the genetic truths. His energy and integrity have earned him our total respect.  Policy is driven by breed associations that are famous for their cumbersome operation and slowness to adopt change. CBV has never waited for public opinion to favour us or our search for effective genetics.

CBV volunteered years of complete hard data, along with endless office backup to get the show on the road, to develop a unique BRAHMAN BREEDPLAN which later led the world in international analysis of Brahman and other derived breeds.  CBV was very fortunate to have longstanding links with two dey herds of Brahmans at CSIRO and Gatton Agricultural College, now the Gatton Campus of University of Queensland.  The personal efforts of Chris O’Neill at CSIRO, and Ken Rowan at Gatton were huge, to enter all their historic records.  There was enormous personal commitment from those two ‘heroes of research and teaching’.  We were able to develop a large and well linked evaluation that other Brahman breeders came to use some years downstream.  Breedplan gives a complete genetic evaluation, and a transparency to whole herd and whole breed genetic trends.

DNA markers are a relatively new and not fully proven program.  CBV actively pursues DNA markers, and as usual with early development there is a high cost for little or no return, often a loss, but with good intent we will see the growth and consolidation of excellent tools of analysis.

CBV 03-1637 Laser XL