Beef Buzz News
Genomic EPDs Helping Angus Breed Speed Into 2020- and BeyondTue, 31 Dec 2019 15:18:31 CST
Dr. Dan Moser, the President of Angus Genetics says the amount of information available to seedstock or commercial cattle producers is amazing with Genomic EPDs. He tells Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays that there’s a lot of exciting things going on in the whole arena of genomics. And it seems like we are just moving faster and faster all of the time. Moser says as the technology becomes more powerful and also more affordable that we are seeing more and more utilization in genomics, “It is really becoming, for a lot of our members, the standard operating procedure. Genomic testing along with data collection and all of the other things they do.”
Some of the important things that are helping Angus breeders and their customers are some of these dollar value signs. They have released a couple, and more are coming. Moser says “We’ve just updated Angus Dollar values. We’ve had these, basically EPD’s for profit. They combine traits together to help producers, whether seed stock breeders or commercial producers make selections about which bulls might fit their breeding program. Those have been around since 2004, but we just recently updated them this year."
Dollar B is the terminal Sire index that has been around that the industry knows very well. They have a new maternal number that Moser thinks is going a better job describing cow efficiently called Dollar M, or Dollar Maternal. Moser added, “We are also working on a combined index that puts those two together and weights them so that producers that not only have a cow herd, but also feed their cattle, can find the bulls that do all things the best.”
On the Horizon they are working on better ways to identify Immunity traits within our beef cattle. Moser says There are some things that are more difficult to measure, “but that is really one of the problems with genomics, is that we can measure enough cattle with these new innovative things, have the genomic predictions on them, and then spread that to the whole population” There is a project underway that looks at inherent immune response. Moser adds, “We can’t just depend on measuring counting which cow will get sick and practicing selection on that. We need to be able to measure immune response in healthy cattle, and that is exactly what this project is doing.”
Moser and his team are working with the U.S., Canada and Australia with a really great collaboration. So what kinds of things are they looking for? Moser says they want to be able to look at these cattle, measure them for their immune response, and look at their genomic sequences to see if any are predictive. Moser states, “So that we can ultimately breed healthier cattle. Just like we’ve been able to breed easier calving cattle, faster growing cattle, or higher grading cattle.”
All of these things are important because more cattle could qualify for various programs that are looking for cattle that have never been treated for illness. Moser agrees, “in a natural program inherent immunity is going to be even more important, so the idea of identifying the genetics that work best in those particular kind of programs. I think would be a real advantage for Angus, and for the beef industry overall.”
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Dr. Dan Moser as he talks with Ron Hays in today's Beef Buzz.
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