Genomic Data is Becoming Increasingly More Valuable for Cattle Producers

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Dr. Bob Weaber about genomic EPD’s.

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is talking with Kansas State University’s Dr. Bob Weaber about genomic EPDs.

“I think one of the really important things for both seedstock and commercial producers to recognize is that we are well into the adoption and implementation phases of genomic technology in the beef space,” Weaber said.

Weaber said the more producers engaged in data collection across the range of traits evaluated, the better job genomic tools can do.

“Our current genomic technology is an association kind of marker approach, so we are not describing the exact genes that are influential in the genome of the cattle, but the markers let us identify those genomic regions kind of like an ear tag on a piece of DNA,” Weaber said. “The more information we supply to the evaluation in terms of phenotypes, across the range of performance characteristics of the animals, the better job our prediction models do.”

While a few producers may have been hesitant about using these tools early on, Weaber said the impacts of genomic tools can be extremely useful for cattle raisers.

“For a seed stock female, her genomic profile contributes more information to the genetic evaluation than her lifetime of natural calves does,” Weaber said.

When using genetic information to select females to add to a herd, Weaber said producers can plot their genetic destiny.

“We just recently had a Beef Improvement Federation genetic prediction workshop in Kansas City right before Christmas where we spent a couple of days talking about the next wave of genomics technologies that will be implemented in the beef space,” Weaber said. “That is really around the idea of low-pass sequencing data, so detailing the entire beef genome at a relatively low resolution, but lots of animal genotypes and sequenced at low cost will provide us a breadth of information to actually go find causal mutations that affect the performance attributes of our cattle.”

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

Verified by MonsterInsights