Rancher Donnell Brown Believes Five Traits Measured by Genomic EPDs Can Simplify Bull SelectionThu, 18 Oct 2018 03:58:11 CDT
There are so many genetic tools available these days to help producers select just the right bull for every operation. So many tools, it can at times get confusing when trying to get your arms around which tool to use to collect the information you are most interested in. Donnell Brown of the RA Brown Ranch says he believes the key is to simplify and highlight five key traits for producers.
Brown says there are five traits that he believes many cattle producers most appreciate- "Today we can boil the information down into five economically relevant traits. That's calving ease, growth, carcass traits, maternal or reproductive traits...and efficiency." He calls this the "Cliff's Notes" version of the mountain of information that we have on each animal these days.
Brown describes some of the advancements that have been made relatively recently in the genetic evaluation arena. One of the more exciting things to come onto the scene is multibreed genetic evaluation tools. A producer is now capable of comparing and contrasting bulls of a diverse variety of breeds, where before EPD data was limited to only a single breed. With the tools and products available today, Brown says there is more options and certainty a producer can have when making selection decisions for their breeding program than ever before.
“I look at it like this… It’s breeding season again and I have two options. I can use that bull I had success with one calf crop last year or I can use a bull I’ve never produced a calf out of. Now, which one do we have more trust and confidence in?” Brown asked. “The one we had proof in the pudding with. That’s human nature. DNA tests give us about that much accuracy as about similar to a full calf crop worth of data to say what this bull can deliver on calving ease, growth, carcass traits, for maternal traits, efficiency… all those things.”
Listen to Brown as he explains to Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays that there are many tools available today to help producers make genetic selection decisions for their herd, on this replay of an earlier 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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