BOZEMAN, MT — The American Simmental Association (ASA) has launched a new research project in partnership with GeneSeek, Inc., aimed at collecting female genotypes from whole herds.
The Cow Herd DNA Roundup (CHR) offers ASA members the opportunity to genotype entire cow herds, with the goal of incorporating larger numbers of genomic data into the ASA genetic evaluation.
Female genotypes are valuable to predict maternal traits such as stayability and maternal calving ease. But only genotyping the best cattle can create bias in the genomic prediction.
Recognizing this value, ASA is offering a $20 genomic profile (50K) to members who test their entire cow herd.
In addition, members who supply cow weights with either body condition scores or hip heights receive an additional $5 off per test.
Initially, the program aims to collect a large number of genotypes in a small period of time. Samples must be submitted to ASA by Dec. 15, 2018, and the cow weight subsidy only applies to the first 30,000 samples submitted.
The overall vision of the project is to set breeders up to maintain a fully DNA tested cow herd in the future.
ASA Breed Improvement Committee Chairman Tim Curran said the program will be a valuable selection tool.
“In the future, we will have this large set of DNA on file, and as technology and accuracy improves, we will have the DNA ready,” he said.
In addition to bolstering the genetic evaluation, parentage is included in the test, which will help clear up pedigree errors and result in better EPD predictions.
The project research partner, GeneSeek, prefers the use of Tissue Sampling Units (TSU); however, blood cards will be accepted as well.
Questions can be directed to Leoma Wells and Dr. Jackie Atkins, by calling 406-587-4531, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.simmental.org/chr.