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Measuring Fertility Traits Through Genomics #1 Benefit to Commercial Cattle Producers

Wed, 06 Jan 2016 15:55:20 CST

Measuring Fertility Traits Through Genomics #1 Benefit to Commercial Cattle Producers

The advances in recent years for beef cattle genomics has been nothing short of phenomenal. That’s according to Ryan Ruppert, U.S. Sales Director for GeneSeek Igenity. With several researchers, GeneSeek has created a new product called GGP-F250. Ruppert said this technology can look at broken genes and genes that cause embryonic deaths. These are new advances for the cattle industry.

Ruppert remembers a bull from 35 years ago that had tremendous production potential, but had a poor heifer pregnancy rate. As an animal breeder, he said those are antagonist traits and in this case there was one lethal gene. This new chip is able to target things, like a lethal gene. He said that line of cattle are now some of the most productive and most fertile. In moving forward, he said we can identify things like high growth cattle, while keeping other important traits such as fertility.

While traits like weaning weight and carcass traits are highly heritable and easy to measure, other traits like fertility are harder to evaluate and quantify. Ruppert said being able to measure fertility is the number one benefit to cattle producers. By improving an Igenity score from a six to a seven, he said that’s worth $300 over the lifetime of that cow. In improving a producer’s entire herd by two points, that’s worth $600 per head. He said that's working for commercial producers that are actively utilizing this technology.

“If we don’t have cows that have a calf, we’re going to lose a lot of money,” Ruppert said. “As beef producers, I think the national average is about an 85 percent calf crop, so we’ve got a lot of improvement we can make and genomics takes us there quickly.”

Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Ruppert on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also 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.

Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Ryan Ruppert, U.S. Sales Director for GeneSeek Igenity
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