Article Text

Farm Animal Practice
Estimated breeding values for beef cattle
  1. Basil Lowman

    Basil Lowman graduated from the University of Reading with a degree in agriculture in 1966. After completing his PhD in 1970, he moved to the Scottish Agricultural College as a specialist adviser on beef cattle. He is currently working to develop practical systems for producing homebred, high quality replacement heifers for suckler herds. He retires in May 2004.


THE estimated breeding value (EBV) of an animal is a calculation of its genetic worth based on performance records compiled by pedigree breeders, both for the animal itself and its relatives in other herds. For a beef farmer seeking to purchase a new sire, EBVs provide a means of assessing how the bull compares with the current breed average. This article discusses how this process works and also addresses some common questions and a few misconceptions.

Statistics from

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.