Spring EPDs assist producers with bull-buying decisions
—Red Angus Association of America releases new EPDs
As the busy bull-buying season approaches, Red Angus stakeholders are now armed with updated selection tools to assist them in bull battery purchases to enhance their own herds’ genetics for long-term productivity and profitability.
The Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) recently released the 2012 spring expected progeny differences (EPDs) which evaluate traits from calving ease to performance to carcass merit. The suite of numbers includes tools to select cattle with optimum economic relevance such as stayability, heifer pregnancy and maintenance energy requirements.
The Red Angus breed has been dedicated to Total Herd Reporting (THR) for nearly two decades, creating an accurate database of Red Angus genetics, and subsequently, EPDs trusted by ranchers.
“With THR data, we are provided with comparisons between all animals in each contemporary group,” said Larry Keenan, RAAA director of breed improvement. “Since EPDs rely on measured variation within a contemporary group, THR provides for reliable EPDs and faster gains in EPD accuracy by ensuring that the variation in the performance of each calf is counted.”
Since 2010, RAAA has joined forces with the American Simmental Association (ASA) to assess EPDs based on a merged database for growth and carcass traits. This expanded the number of head in the National Cattle Evaluation to over 9 million head. The result— additional gains in EPD reliability, plus it allows producers to compare the growth and carcass traits of animals in the two different breeds on an equal basis.
“Our responsibility is to provide commercial producers with the best prediction of an animal’s true genetic merit,” said Keenan. “Through THR and our collaborated database with ASA, ranchers can rely on Red Angus’ selection tools to make the best seedstock purchasing decisions for a sustainable future.”
For more information on EPDs, visit the “Genetics” page on the RAAA website, www.RedAngus.org. Producers can also access individual animals’ EPDs and breed percentiles, or calculate the projected EPDs of specific matings on the website. — WLJ