Tinder for cattle the path to beef improvement

Tinder for cattle the path to beef improvement


Commercial
PICK ME: Finding that one-in-a-million breeding match might soon be made easier via Tinder-style apps for cows.

PICK ME: Finding that one-in-a-million breeding match might soon be made easier via Tinder-style apps for cows.

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A UK Tinder-style app for cows makes global news but Australia is on the job to go one better.

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TINDER for cattle has been going on in Australia for years but now the beef industry is looking to jazz things up with a mobile app that allows comparisons of all online catalogued bulls and targets the commercial producer.

As a United Kingdom Tinder-style app for cows, called Tudder, makes news globally, Farmonline can reveal Australia has been the leader in this field for a decade and is on the job to launching an even more impressive app that taps into full estimated breeding value data.

Tudder lets farmers find breeding matches by viewing pictures of cattle listed with profile descriptions. To the sweet sounds of a gentle moo, producers can swipe right to show they are interested or left to reject matches.  

Australian stud producers who use objective information to buy bulls have had access to this kind of online matchmaking tool for a decade or more, said leading cattle genetics and breeding consultant Don Nicol.

It’s called Mating Predictor and it is part of BreedPlan software. It takes EBVs from a sire and dam and predicts the values of progeny and also gives an interbreeding percentage.

It’s accessed via breed websites and is widely used in Wagyu, Angus and some of the tropical breeds.

“Effectively, we’ve had our own Tinder for a long time,” Mr Nicol said.

“But if we can use graphics and photographs and modern communication methods to make it easier and more attractive for people to make better breeding decisions, I say it’s a winner.”

That appears to be what is now in development at the NSW Department of Primary Industries via an app called DeSireBull.

The new genetics decision support tool to assist livestock producers to select the right bull for their enterprise is a co-investment with the Meat and Livestock Australia Donor Company as part of the National Livestock Genetics Consortium, which aims to achieve world leading rates of genetic gain that will ultimately drive industry profitability.

NSW DPI genetics technical specialist Matias Suarez said the end result would be a tool available on mobile devices that would allow producers to compare and benchmark online catalogued bulls available for sale based on their genetic merit and how they fit with their specific needs.

“Whether producers intend to buy a bull to use on heifers or to produce feeder steers targeting a specific market, the tool will make the process simple, and effective, saving time and money,” he said.

DeSireBull works more like eHarmony for bulls, as it uses lots more information and science than Tudder which uses a photo as the main selection criteria, Mr Suarez said.

The app is expected to be ready for bull sales this year.

Mr Nicol says it will be a long way ahead of the UK app.

He has long been an advocate for finding ways to better get the EBV message to the commercial producer so he or she buys better bulls.

It’s the number challenge for  beef improvement in Australia at the moment, he believes.

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