Article – High fertility bulls key to increasing northern Australia's cattle productivity by 10 per cent: cattle geneticist

6 May 2015
Robin McConchie and Lydia Burton
ABC Rural
A geneticist says northern cattle producers could increase their productivity by 10 per cent if they selected bulls with high fertility.

Victorian Alex McDonald received the RW Vincent Genetic Improvement Award at Beef Australia 2015.
Mr McDonald said there were huge gains to be made, worth billions of dollars to the northern cattle industry, by using selection based on easily measured genetic traits for fertility.
“We’ve been able to show that fertility in Brahman cattle or bos indicus cattle has a strong genetic basis,” he said.
“If you measure fertility and then select on fertility my estimation is that just with genetics you could improve fertility of the whole northern beef herd by a minimum of 10 per cent.”
Award winner forecasts a bright future for beef industry
David Larkin was named the Red Meat Achiever for his work advocating to improve market access for the beef industry.
Mr Larkin is the managing director of Atron Enterprises, a livestock producing, meat processing, marketing and retailing business.
He said the industry’s priorities for the future needed to be on investment opportunities and improving infrastructure.
“We have to be more productive in farming and if we can do that, this will be a group of very wealthy, very successful people,” he said.
South Australian stud breeder Jason Schulz took out the 2015 Rabobank Young Beef Ambassador award.
He said the industry was in its prime right now.
“I really hope that in three years time, everyone is really upbeat about where the beef industry has been and that all our hopes that we are discussing here have come true and that business is really assured for the next few years,” he said.
David Larkin standing behind a microphone and lantern speaking.
Courtesy of ABC Rural