BREEDING PROGRAM

Breeding Program - "Your Carcase Source"

History

Yalgoo has been breeding pedigreed Poll Hereford cattle since 1949. For more than 50 years Yalgoo has hosted an on-property bull sale making it one of the oldest, ongoing seedstock operations in Australia.

The herd's long standing place in the Yalgoo business and the industry as a whole, is a testament to its performance in both cross breeding and purebred herds alike.

Yalgoo has always been at the forefront of performance testing and a pioneer in beef research. Below is a summary of Yalgoo's participation and contribution to the beef industry thus far:

  • Stud Herd established in 1949
  • Foundation member of National Beef Recording Scheme 1960s
  • Jock Nivison AM introduced scannogram to beef industry world wide. Which all IM, fat and EMA scanning stemmed from
  • Regular participant and frequent winner of carcase competitions
  • Foundation member of Breedplan

  • Yalgoo has hosted 51 on property bull sales
  • Co-operative member of original NFI data analysis
  • Co-operative member of international sire program 2004
  • Co-operative member of national cow efficiency project
  • Co-operator herd and sire contributor to young sire evaluation project

The Herd

The Yalgoo bull breeding herd consists of 350 performance recorded and pedigreed cows. The herd competes with a 16,000+ merino flock and a commercial cattle herd. It is run under the same principle as the commercial herd and wintered at 12 DSE/ha on older pastures.

The fertility and production of this herd is a result of a commercially disciplined approach to management. Industry best practise is implemented to ensure the fundamental profit drivers of weight, fertility, structural soundness and longevity are passed onto our client's herds.

Herd Management

  • Heifers calve at 2 yro to yearling bulls
  • Yearling heifers are run with PIs to ensure natural immunity against Pesti-virus
  • They are joined for a six week period to maximise pressure on fertility
  • Heifers that receive extreme assistance or come up empty are culled
  • Females aren't supplementary fed for production
  • Mature cow herd joined for 6-9 weeks depending on AI programs
  • Calves are yard weaned at 5-6 months
  • Empties and dystocia cows are culled

  • No hoof trimming on Yalgoo for 20+ years
  • Large AI & ET programs are undertaken, using outlier sires to increase genetic gain. In 2016 nearly 50% of calves are conceived through ET/AI
  • Profit driving genetics are sourced globally
  • The average Yalgoo cow is youthful to ensure genetic turnover is maximised
  • Constant classing is undertaken, ensuring only the highest performing, fertile females are retained in the herd
  • All females must calve annually, unassisted and in line with joining to remain in the Yalgoo herd

Genetic Direction

Genetic progress is driven by selection using the Grain Fed index. We believe this index is the most versatile and best describes the article our clients are aiming for. Importantly it incorporates IMF, ensuring our cattle are competitive in eating quality with other breeds. Our crossbreeding clients demand IMF. They don't want to sacrifice marbling in their cattle by cross breeding with herefords. The Yalgoo herd lies in the top 20% of the breed for the Grainfed index.

Phenotype Selection

Phenotypic traits are also important in our selection process. Sound structure and muscle are the predominate traits we concentrate on. Visual muscle is not a particularly grass hungry trait and is a trait that has huge economic benefits to beef herds. Recent CRC trial work has shown there are no ill effects on growth, calving ease or fertility traits when increasing visual muscle content. However, the upside is an increase of 21 c/kg with an increase in 1 muscle score across all market categories. Or an increase profitability of 23% in a southern beef herd. Yalgoo strives to be a preferred supplier of carcase orientated whiteface cattle.

We stack our pedigrees with proven, consistent, dominant sires. Although we don't line breed, we are not adverse to staking a pedigree with a proven bull to enhance repeatability and consistency.

Correct udder type, eye pigment and placement are also phenotypic traits we select for.

Maturity Type

Maturity type is controlled both by genetic and environmental factors. We aim to produce frame 7 bulls with positive fat cover and a medium/early maturity pattern.

We find under high stocking rates, earlier maturing cattle are more versatile and marketable.

Herd Goals, genetic trends and breeding objectives

Growth

Yalgoo is one of the highest growth herds in the breed, with our recent sale team averaging in the top 15% of the breed for all growth traits. Beef profitability is all about weight. We select for high growth to ensure our clients can maximise kgs/ha produced.

  • Yalgoo is one of the highest growth herds in the breed. Yalgoo 2014 sale bulls average top 15% of the breed for 200, 400, 600 day wts
  • Yalgoo 2014 sale bulls average top 20% of breed for all indexes

Yalgoo is one of the very few whiteface studs that measure mature cow weights. We aim to produce animals that have strong growth to 600 days before tapering off.

In the New England under high stocking rates, mature cow weights are best kept moderate. Our cow herd will consume 60-80% of dry matter on the farm. Therefore, we need to keep our sale animal's cost of production at a minimum. Easy fleshing, moderate growth mature females assist in keeping a lid on cost of production. High mature growth, late maturing cows are inherently less fertile and efficient.

Yalgoo suggests keeping 600 day weight 1-2 breed deciles above mature cow weight. If we breed our cows to small we will affect herd dystocia levels. Mature cow weight also has a significant effect on income through cull cow sales.

Fertility

Birth Weight

Although yalgoo is 'top end' for growth, Birth Weight is just above breed average. Yalgoo will continue to put downwards pressure on birth weight to level off at below breed average.

At Yalgoo we are aware that fertility is paramount to the profitability of your beef enterprise. We ensure the fundamentals of our management practices are industry best practise to maximise the pressure placed on fertility. This is outlined on the "Herd Management" page.

Genetically we concentrate on:

  • Shorter gestation length - the Yalgoo Herd lies in the top 35% of the breed for GL EBV Graph
  • Below breed average for birth weight
  • Moderate milk: Yalgoo aims to keep 200 milk at breed average. We strive to keep milk at a level that will not affect fertility in a poor season

  • EBV Graph
  • Scrotal Size: The Yalgoo herd lies in the top 20% of the breed for Scrotal size. Our females are breeding bulls with bigger scrotal circumferences resulting in earlier and larger matings. These bulls are producing females that reach sexual maturity at an earlier age and are inherently more fertile

Carcase

Yalgoo strives to be the leading supplier of whiteface carcase genetics. Our cattle must scan high for EMA and IMF and equally importantly express this muscle visually.

  1. All animals are scanned for EMA, IMF & Fat
  2. Bulls are independently muscle scored and average a C+ for muscling

Yalgoo Herd Carcase EBVs Vs Breed

  • CWT: TOP 20% of breed
  • EMA: TOP 25% of breed
  • IMF: TOP 20% of breed
  • RBY: TOP 35% of breed
  • GN index: TOP 20% of breed

Carcase Genetic Trends Graphs

Temperament

We are lucky to be involved in a breed that has no peer in this trait. In a recent survey in the US, this was ranked as the most important genetic trait by US beef producers.

Yalgoo has long had a reputation for breeding quiet cattle. If you ask our families they would probably suggest that this is a result of our affection for our cow herd.

Once again Yalgoo is one of the very few whiteface studs that measure temperament. This is done by an independent assessor. The importance of this is paramount. Your cattle will generally react differently around a new face. Your bull provider's cattle are used to him/her, however they won't be there on your farm to deal with the bull on a day to day basis. By getting an independent person to do this we are much more likely to pick up any aggressive stock before they leave the farm.

Data Integrity

Our herd enjoys a high degreee of performance predictability as a result of accurate BREEDPLAN EBVs. This is due to extensive testing in the following traits:

  • ALL stud calves are weighed at Birth, increasing the accuracy of their birth weight EBV.
  • ALL stud bulls and heifers are weighed for 200, 400 and 600 day weight. Steers are weighed and recorded until they are sold. By weighing all animals we are increasing the information nucleus on each dam and creating greater herd linkage which increases BREEDPLAN accuracies.
  • ALL stud heifers and bulls (since 1972) have been scanned for EMA, fat depth and IMF (since 2000). Therefore, our sale bulls have more accurate carcase EBVs and we are maximising the carcase information from our herd, allowing us to achieve more rapid genetic progress in carcase traits.

  • Mature cow weight is measured.
  • Independent phenotypic traits are measured including: Structure, Muscle scores & temperament.
  • Yalgoo was a co-operator herd in the across breed NFI trial work to develop an EBV for Net Feed Intake. AGBU is currently making modifications to the NFI analysis.
  • By sourcing Yalgoo genetics you can be assured that any current/future economically important EBV will be measured with the greatest care and submitted correctly.

The Show Ring

Showing is seen as a social outlet for us as well an opportunity to showcase our phenotypic traits; primarily structure and visual muscling. Due to the lack of commercial steer trials or test stations, Yalgoo views showing to be of some relevance to our program. We exhibit 1 or two bulls annually at Dubbo.

Recent Show results:

  • 2001: Sydney Supreme Poll Hereford Exhibit - LJS Deviate U101
  • 2005: Sydney Supreme Poll Hereford Exhibit - Yalgoo Boulder Y056
  • 2006: Dubbo National Junior Champion Bull - Yalgoo Boulder Z250
  • 2008: Reserve Junior Champion Bull Sydney and Dubbo - Yalgoo Booster B045. 1st place Yalgoo Busker Dubbo

  • 2010: Wodonga National Grand Champion Bull (1st time exhibiting) - Yalgoo Stalin D160. Reserve Junior Champion Bull Dubbo National - Yalgoo Bridge D027
  • 2011: Dubbo National Junior Champion Bull - Yalgoo Tornado E185, Sydney Reserve Junior Champion- Yalgoo Earthquake E046
  • 2012: Wodonga National Reserve Junior Champion Bull - Yalgoo Inca F253
  • 2013: Sydney Junior Champion Bull - Yalgoo Ridge G080
Or 10 champions in 8 yrs!

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