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Agricultural News

Genomics: A Gateway Technology to Cattle Herd Management in the Future

Tue, 26 Jan 2016 16:15:23 CST

Genomics:  A Gateway Technology to Cattle Herd Management in the Future

DNA technology is really helping advance the cattle industry rapidly and it’s really a new phenomenon. Dr. Michael Bishop of Illumina said the establishment of genomics started just a few years ago. He said Illumina brought the technology to the cattle industry in 2007, following the sequencing of the bovine genome from a Hereford cow named “Dominette”.   The first chip using the Illumina technology was known as the 50K. The chip was made commercially available to the Angus, Holstein and Jersey breeds.

Today, cattle producers are embracing this technology, especially when it comes to genomic EPD’s. Bishop said the sky is the limit, as this technology is being used to make early selection decisions in deciding which animals to breed and utilize in breeding programs.

“It will also be a gateway technology to decide which animals to feed in certain diets, how they will position cattle in their production systems,” Bishop said. “And it will also be used, is being used and will be further used, to manage genetic defects and to manage genetic diversity, as we are continually rapidly selecting these animals and I see this technology becoming more and more used early in life on these animals to make selection decisions and mating decisions even before they have their own record for a certain trait. They will actually be used to make progeny.”

This technology will also help producers make more informed decisions for managing stocker cattle.   Bishop said this technology will help producers decide how long cattle will be on feed, depending on their carcass potential.

“We’ll be able to predict whether they have the genes capable of making a high marbled, high quality product or whether they don’t and we’ll manage them accordingly in our feeding programs,” Bishop said. “We will also be able to eventually identify those animals that are susceptible to certain pathogens, manage their health, so they don’t get those pathogens or manage their environment and vaccines and things like that, to maximize their immune responses.”

Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Dr. Michael Bishop 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 Dr. Michael Bishop of Illumina
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