Commercial Cattlemen Have a Crack at Genetic Selection Tools with New Technology in the WorksThu, 26 Apr 2018 10:16:56 CDT
In a recent conversation with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, Dr. Jared Decker, a beef genetics extension specialist for the University of Missouri, explained that for right now, producers in the cattle industry have only single breed EPDs available to them that help in their genetic selection decisions. However, he says the days of new multi-breed EPD technology is coming just over the horizon.
“Right now, especially for the commercial heifer panels, our best genomic tests are going to be the breed specific test. It’s just simpler to create a genomic test in a breed specific manner,” he said. “Bigger picture - we have International Genetic Solutions which is going to be doing a multibreed genetic prediction for 11 different breed associations in the US and Canada. So, when they fully launch their single step BOLT prediction, we will have a genomic based genetic prediction that works across multiple breeds of cattle.”
The most interesting aspect of this, Decker points out, is that this program will not be limited to just seedstock, but commercial cattle as well. A commercial stockman will have the opportunity to enroll their entire cow herd for a flat fee of $500 per year to participate. That will buy them a pedigree based or genomic based prediction on their entire herd. This is quite unique for commercial producers who now will have the same access to their females’ genetic information as purebred producers. In the last eight years, since advanced EPD technology was released, Decker says a lot of questions have been answered in terms of how genomics can be used for genetic prediction. Going forward, he says the ball will be in the producers’ court.
“The next step really is getting beef producers to buy into EPDs that have been around for 40 years to indexes that have been around for over a decade,” he said, “and then buying in when it makes sense to purchase genomic tests on their cattle.”
Listen to Decker and Hays talk about the certainty EPDs and genomics can add to a producer’s selection decisions and his cautionary advice on which index to maybe veer away from, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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