AbacusBio: In Action | March 2024


Sustainability takes centre stage in 2024, shaping the landscape of animal science and production worldwide. From reducing the carbon footprint of livestock to prioritizing animal welfare and optimizing production in regions facing food scarcity, the discourse on sustainability is multifaceted.

In this issue, we explore the essence of sustainable animal production systems, delving into concrete examples of how AbacusBio is leading the change in real-world implementation.

As we redefine global well-being beyond GDP, embracing frameworks such as the UN Sustainability Goals, AbacusBio remains at the forefront of innovation, continuously adapting scientific theories to meet the evolving needs of the animal industry.

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We are thrilled to share an exciting update on our collaboration with Danish Genetics. The project’s objective is to elevate genetic evaluation models for pig performance traits to the highest contemporary standards.

Over the past several months, we have been working together with Danish Genetics analysing the vast amount of new data collected on the animals and investigating the sources of variation between animals’ performances. Through our collaborative efforts, we’ve have successfully refined the models, improving the evaluation performances.

This partnership underscores our commitment to help our clients make the right breeding decisions and highlights the impact of synergistic collaborations in the field.



If you are interested in learning more about the conceptual framework we use to build our bioeconomic selection indexes, you should check out our new FREE IndexSim web app!

This tool guides the user through a simplified simulation of a selection index, in which hypothetical trait economics can be modified to steer or inform advancement decisions.

Index Releases

AbacusBio has been working with the Australian Wagyu Association (AWA) to develop a new Breeder Feeder Index for AWA’s members. AWA is the third largest Australian beef breed society by member registrations and oversees the genetic evaluation for a breed that now underpins a growing industry focused on luxury, highly-marbled beef products. The index has been developed for a self-replacing fullblood Wagyu system that leveraged AbacusBio’s customised approach to index development and the ability to implement non-linear approaches for intermediate optimum traits like birth weight. Following a successful online member launch of the new index in February 2024, AbacusBio will be showcasing the new index to the broader Wagyu industry at the upcoming WagyuEdge conference in April 2024. Development of a full suite of indexes for AWA that spans terminal fullblood and F1 systems is also underway.


AbacusBio is continuing to work with Beef & Lamb NZ (B+LNZ) on beef index development as part of its Informing New Zealand Beef (INZB) programme. INZB is a 7-year Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme supported by the NZ Ministry for Primary Industries. The programme seeks to develop a beef genetic evaluation system that includes traits that are important to New Zealand beef farmers and supports a sustainable beef farming industry. AbacusBio has worked closely on the programme since 2022, supporting the development of selection indexes that can cater to the traits and unique breeding objectives of NZ beef producers. To support the development of these indexes we undertook a trait prioritisation survey of NZ beef producers in 2022, and have been working with B+LNZ on index model development through 2023 and early 2024. The prototype indexes are currently undergoing review by B+LNZ’s industry and technical advisory groups with implementation occurring in parallel with other components of the INZB programme.


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News Updates

Connect with our consultants at these upcoming conferences:

Jabus Kok

PhD candidate Jabus Kok, entering his final 5 months, recently submitted a literature review titled “Developing an approach to select nitrogen loss mitigations for dairy farm systems” to NZJAR, currently under review. He completed his last experiment at Lincoln University Research Dairy Farm, exploring how urine volume affects urine patch area in dairy farms, aiming to reduce N leaching risk by optimizing urine distribution across paddocks.


We are now halfway through the breeding season and with our AniMate tool on hand, farmers are maximizing the genetic gains in their flocks or herds. By analysing animal records and pedigree to produce accessible reports and diagnostics, AniMate allows you to identify mating opportunities which may otherwise have not been realised, minimise inbreeding risks, and keep a broad genetic base in your population.
Contact the team 

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Case Studies

We are deeply engaged with agribusiness communities and play a leading role in driving a diverse range of projects around the world. Our case studies showcase some of these initiatives, highlighting the reach, diversity, and breadth of our company’s capabilities and services.

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We are excited to announce that AbacusBio has teamed up with Illumina to co-market our complementary services and deliver significant real-world value to agriculture around the world!

This collaboration aims to accelerate genetic progress and improvement across the livestock, cropping, aquaculture, horticulture and forestry sectors, and underlines our commitment to enhancing productivity and sustainability in agriculture.


Projects we are working on:

Sustainability is at the forefront AbacusBio projects. Here are two shining examples of how international collaboration and interdisciplinary innovation have to be at the centre of our future:

Global Methane Project

AbacusBio is excited to collaborate with Wageningen University & Research to lead a global program to coordinate and accelerate the worldwide efforts to breed cattle with reduced methane output. This program has been made possible by a 5 million dollar grant of the Bezos Earth Fund in collaboration with the Global Methane Hub and with the support of University Fund Wageningen.


Genome Canada Project


The Canadian Dairy industry has committed to a Dairy Net-Zero Pledge by 2050 integrating cutting-edge knowledge in genomics and nutrition to deliver a mitigation roadmap for greenhouse gas (GHG) management in dairy production.