Feeling Buried by All the EPDs Out There? University of Nebraska's Matt Spangler May be Able to HelpMon, 08 Jul 2019 11:55:17 CDT
In June of this year at the Beef Improvement Federation Conference held in South Dakota, Dr. Matt Spangler of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, presented on the ongoing development of a new Sire Selection Tool. Spangler explains that a research project conducted in collaboration with Kansas State University, the US Meat Animal Research Center, and Theta Solutions, LLC, will soon yield a web-based tool for producers to use to develop their own customizable index based on their herd level economics and production levels. This tool will enable indices to be developed by bull buyers and can be applied, across breeds, to bulls on offer that a commercial bull buyer is interested in. Spangler says this tool has become a necessity as the sire selection process has simply become too complex for a commercial buyer to distill all the available information into a reasonably actionable decision.
“It’s a decision that’s made annually by a large number of commercial producers that, in my mind, is a relatively complex and cumbersome process to go through,” Spanger said.
While he asserts that on the whole there currently exists too many EPDs, Spangler adds, that is not to say that they are not useful. Each EPD can provide a producer with specific information they might be searching for but when trying to reconcile multiple EPDs together in an attempt to make the best possible selection decision, Spangler says it can become quite confusing. Instead, he contends that producers should focus their decision-making process more from an economic perspective. Considering a sire’s potential return on investment through the use of economic indices is actually a more viable way for a producer to ensure future profitability rather than basing their decisions on multiple traits.
“I believe the next task is turning EPDs into actual decisions and I believe there is help need to do that. A simplified strategy really centers on the need to clearly identify your breeding objective - so things that are net profit drivers to a particular enterprise,” he explained. “We need to reduce information into things that actually help us make a genetic selection decision and then use that information to make those decisions.”
Learn more about the development of this new Sire Selection Tool by hearing Spangler talk more on the subject with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, on today’s 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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