PBB partners with largest multi-breed cattle evaluation company IGS

Our mission at Performance Beef Breeder (PBB) is to provide products and services that add value to your business.

We are excited to announce at the end of 2023 we formed a partnership with genetic evaluation company International Genetic System, commonly known as IGS. This partnership allows us to facilitate data flow into the evaluation and will provide substantial benefits for many breeders throughout NZ, especially those with crossbred animals.

IGS is the beef industries largest multi-breed cattle evaluation. It utilises cutting edge science and collaboration to provide simple and effective genetic tools such as Expected Progeny Differences to the beef industry.

Expected Progeny Differences, or EPD’s as they are commonly known, are like the EBV’s you see in most bull sale catalogues. In fact, an EPD is simply half of an EBV. This is because an EBV is an estimate of the difference expected in the performance of the animal itself relative to other animals due to additive gene action, while an EPD is the difference expected in the performance of the animal's progeny, relative to the progeny of other animals due to genes the animal passes to them.

IGS uses a single-step model to calculate the EPDs, which means pedigree, phenotypes and DNA are simultaneously used to create the figure. IGS also uses BOLT software in conjunction with the single-step model, which is beneficial to breeders. It has been widely proven by scientists that DNA markers vary in their effects on traits – ranging from large to no impact. To leverage this biological fact in a statistically advantageous manner, the BOLT single-step method only utilises markers that have a meaningful impact on the traits of interest, while ignoring those that have little to no effect. By using this approach, BOLT reduces the statistical “noise”, thereby increasing prediction accuracy.

The IGS evaluation is run weekly, which will be extremely helpful come bull selling season, when having the most up-to-date information is crucial for breeders.

IGS produces EPDs for the following traits: Calving Ease Direct, Calving Ease Maternal, Milk, Maternal weaning weight, Stability, Docility, Birth weight, Weaning weight, Yearling weight, Carcass weight, Ribeye area, Fat and Marble score. IGS also provides an all-purpose and terminal index.

For NZ Breeders that adopt IGS, the customer interface will be Helical, which PBB has used for several years. With help from the creator Daniel Garrick and his team, Helical has been adapted to present the IGS data in the metrics system and as EBVs. This will allow both breeder and commercial farmers to utilise the data in a way that is familiar to them.

To learn more about IGS contact the registry team.


06 323 4484