Palgrove and Ultrablack breeders join forces with Angus, launching UltraSELECT at Beef ’24

General manager at Palgrove, Ben Noller, executive vice president of International Brangus Breeders’ association, Dr Darrell Wilkes, San Antonio, Texas, USA, Angus Australia CEO Scott Wright, and Genetic Improvement’s general manager Christian Duff at Beef 2024. Picture: Ben Harden

UltraBlack and Brangus breeders have joined forces with the Angus society, launching a new genetic evaluation tool at Beef 2024.

Angus Australia has partnered with International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) to provide a collaborative genetic evaluation, UltraSELECT, for Angus Australia members breeding UltraBlack animals.

The genetic evaluation will utilise data from Australia and the United States, producing estimated progeny differences (EPDs) for the global benchmarking of Ultrablack and Brangus animals currently registered in the Multibreed Register (MBR) with Angus Australia.

Angus Australia stated UltraSELECT will benefit Brangus and Ultrablack breeders through, enhancing selection decisions, increased international trade, enhanced collaboration, achievement of strategic goals, and proven capability.

Genetic Improvement’s general manager, Christian Duff announced the upcoming launch of UltraSELECT at the Rockhampton Showgrounds on Wednesday.

Mr Duff said UltraSELECT will run alongside the TransTasman Angus Cattle Evaluation (TACE). UltraSELECT will be launched in June 2024.

“The evaluation will produce estimated progeny differences (EPDs), which are similar to EBVs, allowing the global benchmarking of Ultrablack and Brangus animals currently registered in the Multibreed Register (MBR) with Angus Australia,” he said.

“UltraSELECT supports Angus Australia’s five year strategic plan by providing members with enhanced selection decisions tools particularly to support the global benchmarking of genetics and further collaboration opportunities.”

He explained statistics from a recent MLA survey that was conducted in November last year, showing the breed breakdown in Australia, highlighted the influence of Angus, Brangus and Ultrablack breeds nationally.

“What’s highlighted in those statistics there across northern and southern Australia is just the influence of Angus genetics and that includes that comes from an Angus or Ultrablack Brangus package,” Mr Duff said.

“What that shows is that there’s a lot of interest in Angus genetics now our job as an organisation is thinking how we can provide tools to help support the part of the industry that wants to grow those initiatives.”

Mr Duff said UltraSELECT was established to ensure breeders were given the right benchmarking tools to make good decisions in their breeding operations.

“Basically, one of our strategic areas we want to focus on over the next five years is to deliver an alternative solution for our Brangus and Ultrablack breeders in our systems,” he said.

“One thing we’re also focusing on now is offering global evaluations. One thing we know about the Angus, Brangus and Ultrablack breeders, there’s global populations all around the world.

“If you can make those genetic evaluations up through some selection across populations, you can get lots of selection advantages out of that.”

Business Development and Genetics manager at Palgrove, Ben Noller, described UltraSELECT as a very progressive approach for Ultrablack breeders moving forward.

“I think Christian and Angus association should be proud of what they’re doing and certainly it’s probably been three to four years since we had the initial conversation,” Mr Noller said.

“It has taken us a long time to get it off the ground, because there were a lot of moving parts and basically at Plagrove, we wanted a more robust genetic analysis to measure our Ultrablack cattle and we put everything out on the table to do it.

“Not only does it give us an opportunity at Palgrove to measure our genetics harder but also gives everyone else an opportunity to be involved.

“I have measure, improve and grow as three words for the future and for me, you can’t grow a business without improving and kind of improve something without measuring, so this certainly gives us the tools to do that.”

Mr Duff said more information will be made available to breeders in the coming months.

“This will include an Angus Education Module providing further information on UltraSELECT, how to access the evaluation results and the benefits that it will provide for our UltraBlack and Brangus Breeders,” he said.

By Ben Harden

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