Wagyu weaners

Predictions for future cattle performance bring benefits

AbacusBio consultant Neville Jopson has been working with the largest cattle producer in Australia to develop a system that predicts the future performance of cattle in their grain-fed and Wagyu beef operations.

Having good estimates of future feedlot performance allows the Australian Agricultural Company (AACo) to improve management decisions for their cattle inventory on hand, which will improve the bottom line.

AACo specialises in the production of grass- and grain-fed beef, as well as Wagyu beef, and finishes cattle in feedlots, in some cases beyond 400 days on feed, to produce highly-marbled beef.

As with any biological system, there is variation in performance between animals and some of this variation is predictable.

“Our goal is to quantify as much of these differences as possible so they can be used to maximise the overall value to AACo,” Neville says.

Statistical methods, similar to those used in animal breeding are used and provide a key framework for decision making. The new system will quantify the genetic potential of animals in the feedlot system, along with their expected performance in various parts of the AACo business.

AACo was established in 1824 and is the oldest continuously operating company in Australia. It owns and operates a mix of farms and feedlots across Queensland and the Northern Territory – comprising of some seven million hectares of land. For more information, visit www.aaco. com.au