“If you can’t measure it, you can’t change it…”

…is a phrase we are all familiar with in the world of livestock production. And so, in an effort to improve the overall product we sell to our clients, Konjuli Droughtmasters became members of Droughtmaster Breedplan, commencing in April 2019.


What is Breedplan?

BREEDPLAN is a modern genetic evaluation measurement system for beef cattle. It offers the potential to accelerate genetic progress, tighten up breeding operations, improve productivity and increase prices for cattle sold for both breeding and slaughter.


How does it work?

Utilising the world’s most advanced genetic evaluation system a range of important production traits (weight, carcass, fertility and so on) are recorded to produce an animal’s Estimated Breeding Value. While we will never know the exact breeding value for performance traits, it is possible to make good estimates based upon the individual animal’s genetic merit, knowing that half of these merits will be passed on to its progeny (the other half coming from the other parent).


Understanding Estimated Breeding Values (EBV’s)

An EBV is a value which expresses the difference (+ or-) between an individual animal and the herd or breed benchmark to which the animal is being compared. In Konjuli and Konjuli GJ’s case it is Droughtmaster Australia benchmark. EBV’s are reported in terms of actual product e.g. days, kg of weight or mm of fat depth, etc. Breeding values can be estimated on the animals’ own records and the performance of known relatives.


Investing in EBV’s at Konjuli…

Our investment in Breedplan means that for Konjuli and Konjuli GJ we have the ability to easily identify genetic traits and performances that we feel are important to our herd. Because this assists in identifying animals that are not producing, we are also confident that our quality control will improve. We are finding we are more in touch with our herd, and our sire to dam selection is more an educated decision than just guess work.

We have achieved this by gathering data in the form of weights, flight times, scrotal size, mature weights, days to calving, gestation length on our cattle and their progeny and submitting that data to Droughtmaster Breedplan.


For Konjuli Droughtmasters Clients

Most importantly, our EBV’s will provide us with a better opportunity to enable our customers to gain the desired performance in the traits they are looking for – to enable you to make a more informed decision on your next bull or registered female purchase to assist with your individual needs/markets. i.e. Vealer market or Jap ox.

Although EBVs provide an estimate of an animal’s genetic merit for a wide range of traits, they do not provide information for all the traits that must be considered during the selection of functional cattle.

In all situations, EBVs (if available) should be used in conjunction with visual assessment for other traits of importance like structural soundness, temperament, and so on.

Pictured top: An Example of an EBV: Konjuli Nikko



Chart Analysis – Droughtmaster Breedplan for Konjuli Nikko.

As you can see from the “Traits Analysed” Konjuli Nikko was weighed at 200, 400 and 600 days of age. His “SS” scrotal size was measured at the 400-day weigh in. Data was not gathered for the traits listed at the top of each column on the right-hand side of the chart.

The row of EBV scores along the bottom of the chart are the benchmark scores for the Droughtmaster breed, and it is these scores we use to compare Konjuli Nikko’s growth rate.

By comparing Konjuli Nikko’s EBV’s and the Droughtmaster benchmark EBV’s below, we can see that Konjuli Nikko was 5kg above the average at 200-days, 9kg at 400-days and, 18kg above the Droughtmaster average at 600-days.

As on average half of this difference will be passed on to the progeny of each sire, it can be estimated that calves from Konjuli Nikko would be on average 9 kg heavier at 600 days. Extending this to a single year’s drop of 50 calves, this difference equates to a potential production difference of 450 kg in live weight by the time the calves reach 600 days of age.

Directly under Konjuli Nikko’s EBV’s is a row of numbers  representing “Accuracy” of the EBV’s (shown in percentages).

To provide breeders with a measure of the reliability of the estimate, BREEDPLAN produces an “accuracy” figure with each EBV. The “accuracy” provides a measure of the stability of the EBV and gives an indication of the amount of information that has been used in the calculation of that EBV..

The percentages for Konjuli Nikko are mostly between 50% and 75%, which are rated medium accuracy. This is simply because of the lack of data available on Nikko’s and his relatives owing to our recent introduction to Breedplan. 

If you would like to learn more about Konjuli Droughtmasters Breedplan then please do not hesitate to contact Sean on  0427 740 994