Simmentals now have enhanced EPDs

BOZEMAN, Mont. — The American Simmental Association is now offering a population-specific DNA profile with genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences (GE-EPDs) that also includes parental validation.

In partnership with GeneSeek, the ASA GE-EPDs are powered by the GeneSeek Bovine 50K.

The evolution in ASA genomic technology is a result of a multi-year collaborative effort between ASA, Carcass Merit Project cooperators, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), University of Illinois, University of Missouri, Montana State University, Iowa State University, National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium (NBCEC) and GeneSeek.

“ASA has built an impressive database of genotypes with over 3,000 Simmental, SimAngus and Simbrah samples,” said Dr. Wade Shafer, director of performance programs.

“DNA test results are incorporated into ASAs multi-breed genetic evaluation system in a new, more precise method than the current industry standard — which translates into more informative EPDs.”

The test also generates the DNA profile required for parental validation.

Increased accuracy

Dr. Elisa Marques, GeneSeek market development manager for genomics, said the increase in accuracy of ASA EPDs helps take some of the risk out of making selection decisions, especially when using young animals.

“As an example, the increase in accuracy for birth weight is equivalent, on average, to adding six progeny records to an animal’s birth weight evaluation,” she said.

“In the case of stayability, the increase in accuracy is comparable to adding records from nine daughters in production.”

According to Dr. Dorian Garrick, Iowa State University Lush Chair in animal breeding and genetics and NBCEC executive director, the immediate benefit is the improvement in the predictions of offspring.

“In the long run,” Garrick said, “growth in the population of genotyped animals and continued efforts in genomic research will further lift predictive performance and will revolutionize the cattle industry.”

To participate

To order DNA testing kits, ASA members should contact ASA. The Association will mail testing kits directly to producers for DNA sample gathering.

For more information about genomic-enhanced EPDs available from the American Simmental Association, call 406-587-4531 or visit www.simmental.org.

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