Artificial breeding programs and favourable estimated breeding values have been driving producers' sire selections in the last two years.
The Land can reveal the top 10 most widely used sires from nine leading breed societies filled with international representatives and a rising number of Australian sires.
Among the bulls were estimated breeding value leaders, high priced sires and phenotypically admired animals whose progeny may be offered at future sales or utilised in the national herd rebuild in coming years.
American Angus sire LD Capitalist 316, known for his calving ease and power, led the way with 2097 total registered progeny of which 1948 were in the last two years.
Angus Australia breed development and extension manager Andrew Byrne said the bulls listed continued the trend of Angus seedstock producers utilising artificial breeding through AI or embryo transfer.
There had also been a trend towards bulls with favourable calving east, growth and carcase traits like carcase weight, eye muscle area and intramuscular fat.
In the last year 50 per cent of calves registered with Angus Australia have been bred by AI and seven to eight per cent via embryo transfer so that trend continues.- Angus Australia breed development and extension manager Andrew Byrne
All but three of the 10 most used Angus bulls were Australian.
The leading home blood sire, $91,000 Te Mania Emperor E343, had 1022 registered progeny (7730 in total) despite undergoing major surgery to reconstruct his knee more than five years ago.
While the surgery was a success he was no longer used for natural joinings but was still being collected at Total Livestock Genetics in Victoria up until his recent death.
Semen had been exported to about 18 countries with sales notching up to around $1 million dollars (retail value).
It follows the trend of producers using artificial breeding to speed up genetic gain.
"In the last year 50 per cent of calves registered with Angus Australia have been bred by AI and seven to eight per cent via embryo transfer so that trend continues," Mr Byrne said.
"Likewise the trend to utilise high performing genetics and bulls with high breeding values continues and with the average Angus Selection Index of the 20 most widely used bulls sitting in the highest six percentile of the breed representing again the commitment of Angus seedstock producers to use genetics which are going to increase the profitability of the beef supply change.
"The Angus breed for a long time has probably led the industry with the adoption of technology in breeding programs and that continues."
The $70,000 Brahman bull NCC Lord Delaware had the most progeny for his breed from January 2018 to December 2019 including 372 in total while fellow Queensland bull Palgrove Justice, the first Australian bull to have semen sold back to breed founding France, topped the Charolais with 270 progeny in total including 148 in the last two years.
Imported American black Limousin sire LFLC Ace 750A had 101 registered progeny in the last two years for a current total of 140 while Murray Grey bull Tullibardine Jeopardy J14 had 130 progeny in two years for a 255 total.
A Santa Gertudis bull boasting a top one per cent (-19.3) estimated breeding value for days to calving, Rosevale Maverick M102, had 169 progeny in total while Shorthorn trait leader Yamburgan Zeus H140 had 614 total progeny.
In the Simmental records for the most popular sire of 2018 born calves, New Zealand's Glen Anthony Y-Arta AY02 had 129 progeny or 374 in total including the record priced Australian Simmental bull, $160,000 Woonallee Los Angeles.
ABS Australia beef product and sales manager Bill Cornell said after semen sales took a thump during last spring demand had turned around.
"April/May could be all time record months for units sold, for autumn sales," he said.
"We have new Wagyu bulls, then bulls like the number one ranked bull for units sold, Landfall Keystone K132, with 80pc going into commercial herds.
"Dear old (Te Mania) Emperor passed away, and people realised semen won't be available for long ... 90pc of Emperor semen sold went into commercial herds - he is known for his females."
While last year many artificial breeding programs were left on ice due to the dry conditions, AI technicians and embryologists are now seeing an increase in work with many producers returning after a few years absence.
Geoff Steinbeck of Excel Genetics at Dungowan had noticed a rise in AI program demand, including more autumn schedules, and bull semen collection for those wanting to retain their own genetics.
His programs usually range from 50 to 1000 head, averaging 150 head a day, but was recently asked to help with a 30,000 dairy heifer program in Tasmania, which required three inseminators averaging 200 animals a day over five weeks.
"What we are finding, and we have done on some really big programs, is that the heifers we have synchronised we are getting considerably better conception rates over natural joining of heifers," he said.
"When you are doing some big programs if they can pick up 10 to 15 to 20 per cent higher conception rates that is a lot of dollars."
By using proven sires producers could tighten their calving, virtually eliminate birth difficulties and retain growth.
It made artificial breeding very cost effective, Mr Steinbeck said.
"Guys are starting to be prepared to spend that money on the really good quality highly proven sires to get the assurance of low birth and then we are still getting high growth," he said.
"It is certainly a long way cheaper than buying $10,000 and $12,000 herd bulls that only cover 40 or 50 cows a year and break down in the second year.
"It is a way forward as far as bull prices are incredibly high at present and it is much more cost effective to use a highly proven AI sire and obviously it is cost effective in genetic gain.
"The genetic gain from using bulls that are in the top one per cent in the world...well there is a lot of dollars involved in that for replacement heifers."
The Jarrett family of Jarravale Simmentals at Kyogle have utilised artificial breeding to rapidly grow their herd including featuring semen from the popular Simmental bull, Glen Anthony Y-Arta AY02.
Formerly running a stud Holstein dairy herd and crossing Simmentals over their cows, the family established their stud 10 years ago with four females.
They now run about 100 stud cows alongside a commercial herd and transplant up to 60 embryos a year as part of twice yearly programs.
"That's how we started out and continued our stud," Allan Jarrett said.
"We got some embryos from Canada and South Australia and the last lot were black Simmentals...we have been trying to chase the elite cow lines.
"Now most of our income comes out of the stud side of it rather than commercial. (Y-Arta) is probably a different style of bull, he doesn't leave those massive big animals but has lots thickness. I think he would be ideal over your Brahmans or Santa cross cows."
Artificial breeding programs can also offer benchmarking opportunities, according to Southern Beef Technology Services technical officer Catriona Millen.
"From a Breedplan perspective the advantage of doing AI programs is it gives people the opportunity to compare their home bred bulls to AI sires and get good linkage across herds," she said.
"It's always an advantage to have outside bulls in their program whether through AI."
She said NSW producers had a good understanding of EBVs but were encouraged to look for structure and docility with as much regard.
"A number of societies have selection indexes but we do periodic reviews and make sure they are still relevant," she said.
"It's a case of working with breed societies to make sure they are reflecting what the direction of that breed is.
"They still want good fertility, good growth and cattle meeting carcase specs."
Hereford bull Injemira Anzac H006, who sold for $45,000 in 2014 and at times has been ranked the number one cumulative index sire in the country, topped his breed's list with 643 progeny in total.
As a son of Allendale Anzac E114 who has about 140 sons or grandsons that average in excess of $10,000 at auction, Injemira stud principal Marc Greening of Book Book said it was humbling to see him performing well. He used him extensively in his own herd while purchasers Jarrah Cattle Company, Queensland, also sold semen.
"To this day he is still sound and functional and walking around on a property at Banana, south of Rockhampton," he said.
"He has certainly had to prove his worth in the real world considering the seasonal conditions up there."
Droughtmaster Australia opted not to supply their information.
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