Raff Angus Stud
Raff Angus Stud

HD50K for Angus


HD50K for Angus


We are now in our third year of genomic testing using the HD50K for Angus product from Pfizer Animal Genetics. Click here to read more on HD50K for Angus.

By the end of this year we will have over 1,000 registered Angus bulls and females tested and MVP's (Molecular Value Predictions) for 16 traits.

The reason we chose to invest in genomics was that we were frustrated with traditional genetic evaluation methods which failed to accurately describe our cattle.

The reasons for this are:

  1. The genetic makeup of our herd is different to mainstream Angus in Australia which gave us poor linkage to 'popular' bulls which in turn gave our data a low accuracy.
  2. Our northern environment and expansive management made it very difficult to maintain any consistency in nutrition in management groups.
  3. Because of the systems heavy weighting on pedigree and the lack of variation in our raw data, our raw data is largely ignored by Breedplan.
  4. In 2006 we purchased four stud cows in USA and imported 300 embryos from them. These cows were 'old' genetics and the bulls we used were 'old' genetics. As a result Breedplan had the resulting progeny at a very low EBV base which certainly did not reflect their true performance.
  5. We believe there are many breeders who deliberately 'work' the current system to achieve 'good' outcomes.
  6. We sell yearling bulls which makes it difficult to get data beyond 12 months on our male animals.
  7. With a big percentage of ET calves born each year, with Breedplan it was difficult to identify the superior animals in a flush at a young age - when we need to retain or market.

WHY HD50K for Angus?

  1. The information is all about the individual animal, not a mid parent estimate based on assumptions.
  2. It describes the animal virtually at birth and that information is not subject to change over the life of the animal.
  3. It is not affected by the environment and can not be manipulated by humans.
  4. It provides valuable information on 'hard to measure traits' such as feed efficiency and tenderness.
  5. It has the potential to eliminate some of the expensive and dangerous management practices in collecting data, like weighing calves at birth.
  6. It eliminates the need to wait till the animal has progeny recorded to get accurate information.
  7. As the system develops more valuable information will become available – without further testing.


“MVP’s are not a marketing tool. They are a tool to describe our cattle. Every environment, every management and every market has a different requirement.” Andrew Raff

We have always said that our preference is to use MVP's as a stand alone product. However our breed society and beef recording organisations have made it mandatory for the reporting of genomic information it has to be in the form of a GE-EBV. This means that we have been left with no option other than to present this information as genomic enhanced estimated breeding values to the public. By doing this Breedplan is failing to report important information on traits that it (Breedplan) does not measure that are available through MVP’s, such as Feed Efficiency, Feed Lot Daily Gain & Tenderness

The system, as a stand alone product, suits our management, it reports on hard to measure traits, that Breedplan doesn’t, which we feel are important and the information is available virtually at birth.

“We do not intend to chase the ‘top 1%’ in all traits but rather determine at what point is most sustainable for the various traits. First and foremost we must have a herd of cattle that can thrive, survive and reproduce in our environment, we then need to ‘fine tune’ that product to an efficient and sustainable animal that can breed animals that produce a body of beef that is profitable for the breeder, the grower, the feeder and the processor and gives an enjoyable eating experience to the consumer. MVP’s provide a valuable tool to achieve this.” Andrew Raff

While MVP's are not yet perfect we have found them to be certainly no less accurate than EBV's. We do not intend to use MVP’s as a marketing tool or to compare our cattle with other breeders. It will be used as stand alone information within our herd as a tool to describe our cattle so that we can fine tune our selection while acknowledging that every environment, every management and every market has a different requirement.

We have tested flush sibs at a young age and at maturity those MVP's largely reflect the subtle differences between flush sibs.

Raff Angus