Red Angus and Simmental share resources for joint EPDs

Jun 11, 2010
by WLJ

Future National Cattle Evaluations will break new ground for the Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) and American Simmental Association (ASA) as the two breeds combine resources for multi-breed genetic evaluation (MBGE) of their growth and carcass trait expected progeny differences (EPDs). Both breed associations share the belief that their competitive position is enhanced through this cooperation.

Initially, growth and carcass EPDs will be calculated on the ASA/RAAA pooled dataset utilizing the ASA MBGE model, while reproduction predictions will be produced on single breed models. Both breeds will maintain their relationship with Colorado State University, with Red Angus receiving Calving Ease, Heifer Pregnancy, Stayability and Maintenance Energy EPDs, and Simmental receiving Stayability EPDs.

The first tangible impact of this relationship is that each breed will see an increase in relevant data.

Kelli Brown, R.A. Brown Ranch of Throckmorton, TX, and current RAAA president, envisions that the two-breed collaboration will have a powerful impact on the industry.

The MBGE model will provide a more relevant description of all animals in the database by taking into account the performance due to heterosis. Of equal importance, the MBGE model accounts for the “other breed” component when Red Angus or Simmental breeders use other breeds to build hybrid seedstock. These attributes of the MB- GE will deliver increased accuracy and faster proof of sires, whether breeders utilize them to make straightbred Simmental or Red Angus, or hybrid seedstock.

In addition to the obvious biological complement ranchers enjoy from Red Angus-Simmental crosses, the breeds share many common philosophies regarding genetic evaluation, with both breeds gaining commercial market share through innovation.

Each has focused on providing selection tools for Economic Relevant Traits; ASA provides concise and meaningful predictions for the feed yard profit drivers—Yield Grade, Quality Grade and Carcass Weight. RAAA’s initial focus was in cowherd building traits such as Stayability, Heifer Pregnancy and Maintenance Energy Requirement.

The Simmental and Red Angus breeds will share equally in funding such research and development as well as populating a new Technical Advancement Committee with an appropriate mix of industry, academic and leadership from the respective breeds. — WLJ