Beef CRC projects

The Cooperative Research Centre for Beef Genetic Technologies (Beef CRC 3) operated from 2005 to June 2012, building on the findings of Beef CRC 1 and 2. Beef CRC 3 research programs and product themes addressed key issues and aimed to enhance the productivity and profitability of the Australian beef industry.

FutureBeef contributed to Beef CRC 3 research through these projects:

  • Prediction of phenotypes 1.2
  • Genetic and phenotypic relationships established 2.2
  • Feeding and management strategies to increase dietary energy captured and reduce methane generated 2.3
  • Tick vaccine 3.1.2
  • Poll gene test 3.1.3b
  • Understanding and managing animal welfare impacts of dehorning 3.1.3c
  • Gene discovery for post partum reconception and age at puberty in tropically adapted beef cattle 4.1.1
  • Male indicator traits to improve female reproductive performance 4.1.3a
  • Early predictors of lifetime female reproductive performance 4.1.3b

Prediction of phenotypes 1.2

Prediction of Phenotypes 1.2 developed a model utilising EBVs, DNA tests, gene expression data and growth performance to predict the performance of temperate cattle in feedlots.
Contact: David Mayer, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Program: 1—High quality beef for global consumers
Product theme: Improved genetic gain with genomic technology traits
RD&E objectives: Enhancing product quality and acceptability, Enterprise viability: Increasing cost efficiency and productivity and profitability
Industry priorities: Nutrition and growth, Information technology and Precision Livestock Management
FutureBeef key message: Whole of business management

Genetic and phenotypic relationships established 2.2

Genetic and phenotypic relationships established 2.2 took repeated body measurements of approximately 8,000 heifers/cows to quantify genetic variation across seasons and years with a view to improving maternal productivity, feed efficiency and end-product. For more information, please read the final report summary and download the final report from Meat & Livestock Australia.
Contact: Joanne DeFaveri, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Program: 2—Feed efficiency, maternal productivity and responsible resource use
Product theme: Improved genetic gain with genomic technology traits
RD&E objectives: Enterprise viability: Increasing cost efficiency and productivity and profitability, Enhancing product quality and acceptability
Industry priorities: Nutrition and growth
FutureBeef key message: Whole of business management

Feeding and management strategies to increase dietary energy captured and reduce methane generated 2.3

Feeding and management strategies to increase dietary energy captured and reduce methane generated 2.3 sought to improve the efficiency of energy capture and reduce methane emissions.
Contact: Diane Ouwerkerk, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and Athol Klieve, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
Program: 2—Feed efficiency, maternal productivity and responsible resource use
Product theme:
Improved adaptation and whole herd efficiency
RD&E objectives: Enterprise viability: Increasing cost efficiency and productivity and profitability, Enterprise sustainability: Increasing natural resource use efficiency and managed environmental impacts
Industry priorities: Nutrition and growth

Tick vaccine 3.1.2

Tick vaccine 3.1.2 investigated the biology of resistant versus susceptible genotypes to improve tick resistance of cattle. To learn more, please read the final report summary and download the final report from Meat & Livestock Australia.
Contact: Ala Lew, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
Program: 3—Adaptation and cattle welfare
Product theme:
Improved adaptation and whole herd efficiency
RD&E objectives: Enterprise viability: Increasing cost efficiency and productivity and profitability
Industry priorities: Animal welfare 

Poll gene test 3.1.3b

Poll gene test 3.1.3b developed the Australian Poll Gene Marker test which reports on the likelihood of an animal being true polled or heterozqygous poll. For further information please refer to the Beef CRC factsheet.
Contact: Emily Piper, University of Queensland
Program: 3—Adaptation and cattle welfare
Product theme:
Improved animal welfare standards
RD&E objectives: Enterprise viability: Increasing cost efficiency and productivity and profitability
Industry priorities: Animal welfare

Understanding and managing animal welfare impacts of dehorning 3.1.3c

Understanding and managing animal welfare impacts of dehorning 3.1.3c aimed to develop objective measures of cattle welfare.
Contact: Carol Petherick, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
Program: 3—Adaptation and cattle welfare
Product theme:
Improved animal welfare standards
RD&E objectives: Enterprise viability: Increasing cost efficiency and productivity and profitability
Industry priorities: Animal welfare

Gene discovery for post partum reconception and age at puberty in tropically adapted beef cattle 4.1.1

Gene discovery for post partum reconception and age at puberty in tropically adapted beef cattle 4.1.1 developed and validated genetic tests for improved post partum reconception and reduced age of puberty. For more information, please read the final report summary and download the final report from Meat & Livestock Australia.
Contact: Brian Burns, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
Program: 4—Female reproductive performance
Product theme:
Increased reproduction rates and maternal productivity
RD&E objectives: Enterprise viability: Increasing cost efficiency and productivity and profitability
Industry priorities: Reproduction
FutureBeef key message: Breeder management

Male indicator traits to improve female reproductive performance 4.1.3a

Male indicator traits to improve female reproductive performance 4.1.3a aimed to identify early life predictors of bull reproductive performance and improve efficiency of sire selection.  The project final report summary is available through Meat & Livestock Australia.
Contact: Dick Holroyd, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and Brian Burns, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
Program: 4—Female reproductive performance
Product theme:
Increased reproduction rates and maternal productivity
RD&E objectives: Enterprise viability: Increasing cost efficiency and productivity and profitability
Industry priorities: Reproduction
FutureBeef key message: Breeder management

Early predictors of lifetime female reproductive performance 4.1.3b

Early predictors of lifetime female reproductive performance 4.1.3b sought to identify early-in-life indicator traits that could be used in selection to improve lifetime reproduction rates. Please refer to the final report summary and download the final report from Meat & Livestock Australia.
Contact: Mick Sullivan, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Program: 4—Female reproductive performance
Product theme:
Increased reproduction rates and maternal productivity
RD&E objectives: Enterprise viability: Increasing cost efficiency and productivity and profitability
Industry priorities: Reproduction
FutureBeef key message: Breeder management

Beef CRC 3 programs and product themes

The Beef CRC 3 research programs were:

  • Program 1—High quality beef for global consumers
  • Program 2—Feed efficiency, maternal productivity and responsible resource use
  • Program 3—Adaptation and cattle welfare
  • Program 4—Female reproductive performance
  • Gene discovery and underpinning science.

Beef CRC research targeted the following product themes:

  • improved genetic gain with genomic technology
  • improved compliance rates to better meet market specifications
  • increased reproduction rates and maternal productivity
  • improved animal welfare standards
  • improved adaptation and whole herd efficiency
  • improved beef producer understanding and uptake of technology.

For more information about the Beef CRC 3, please visit the Beef CRC legacy website.