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Agricultural News

U.S. Meat Animal Research Center Creates Across-Breed EPD Adjustment

Tue, 08 Sep 2015 15:11:16 CDT

U.S. Meat Animal Research Center Creates Across-Breed EPD Adjustment
It's not apples-to-apples. That old saying sure rings true when trying to compare the expected progeny differences, or E-P-Ds, of bulls from two different breeds. And that's why the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center Research Geneticist Larry Kuehn analyzes breed differences and provides comparison tools.

"We've been releasing the across breed EPD adjustment factors from Clay Center for almost twenty five years now, but this year for the first time we're including carcass weight as one of the traits that are being analyzed with that, so that commercial producers will have a new tool to compare their animals across breed for another economically relevant trait," Kuehn said.

Changes in cattle marketing helped spur the addition.

"I think we're getting more and more commercial producers that are retaining ownership, so the yearling weight and weaning weight are no longer the economically important traits," Kuehn said. "Now they want to know what they're getting paid for as their base price on the grid. So, this and marbling and, and, and back fat will all be a good component for them to help sell their cattle better."

The adjustments are calculated back to an Angus base, and many Extension programs have spreadsheets to help producers make sense of it all. The historical database allows Kuehn and his team to spot trends.

"Over the last few years we've, we've really continued to see where breeds have been selecting hard," Kuehn said. "Just take Angus for instance. Partly yearling weight, now with carcass weight available have very, very strong trends in growth, making up to a pound and a half to two pounds on average per year, and it's brought Angus into a competitive position with several of the other continental breeds being equal in yearling weight and equal in carcass weight basically while still maintaining a nice birth weight at the same time."

Many breeds have made improvements in different areas. These adjustments give farmers and ranchers a chance to see how their sires stack up industry-wide, to make more informed genetic selections.

This video news is provided by CAB and the American Angus Association.



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