Wagyu beef producers have the opportunity to help fine tune the new Wagyu Feed Calculator app developed by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
NSW DPI Group Director Livestock Systems Dougal Gordon said the new Wagyu Feed Calculator aims to take the guesswork out of producing ideal feedlot stock.
“Producers will be able to use the free app to get the most out of available feed to take their Wagyu herds through varying seasonal conditions,” Mr Gordon said.
“Now in the final stages of development, the new app is based on the successful DPI Drought Feed Calculator and includes pasture production and increased energy requirements specifically for Wagyu.
“The app allows producers to input their current pasture parameters to estimate feed quantity and quality, which is converted into an expected daily weight gain.
“The user has the option of choosing from a list of available supplements to achieve the minimum weight gain required to optimise carcase marbling, which is a major profit driver in Wagyu production.”
NSW DPI Livestock Development Officer, Todd Andrews recently presented the new app at the Wagyu Association Annual Conference in Adelaide.
Also attending the conference was DPI Research Geneticist Dr Brad Walmsley who presented the BreedObject $Indexes, which can help achieve faster rates of genetic gain in Wagyu production systems.
Three Wagyu selection indexes were released last year – Fullblood Self-replacing, Fullblood Terminal and F1 Terminal as part of the BreedObject software tool, which uses BREEDPLAN to target beef breeding programs by calculating the optimum mix of estimated breeding values (EBVs) for commercial producers.
The new Self-replacing Breeding Index can be used to select bulls that will produce more profitable females for retention in fullblood or purebred herds. The Fullblood Terminal and F1 Terminal Indexes can be used to select bulls that will produce more profitable slaughter progeny.
The work in developing these indexes has been through the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU), a joint venture between NSWDPI and University of New England in partnership with the Australian Wagyu Association.
The BreedObject technology has been applied across all major beef breeds in Australia and internationally in some breeds.
The free Wagyu Feed Calculator app is available from Apple iTunes or Google Play.