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Show-Me-Select Board Approves Genomic Testing Requirement for Natural Service Sires

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All bulls purchased after February 1st, 2019 for use as natural service sires in the Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program™ must be DNA tested to have genomic-enhanced EPDs. All bulls used as natural service sires after February 1st, 2020 must have genomic-enhanced EPDs, regardless of when they were purchased. Seedstock producers classifying bulls as Show-Me-Select qualified in sale books must have genomic-enhanced EPDs on those lots.
Bulls purchased prior to February 1st, 2019 will be grandfathered into the program, as is the common practice with all natural service sires. However, this grandfather grace period will end February 1st, 2020. At that time for a bull to qualify for use in the program, it must have genomic-enhanced EPDs.

Why the change? The Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program has the goal of producing premium heifers that perform predictably as 2 year olds. The program has a history of requiring Show-Me-Select producers to go beyond typical cattle production pr…

New Show-Me-Select Sire EPD Requirements Announced

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At the January 4th Show-Me-Select Board of Directors meeting, new service sire EPD requirements were approved. All sires, artificial insemination and natural service, must meet minimum Calving Ease Direct (CED) EPD requirements. In addition to yearly updates, two changes were made.

First, no Birth Weight EPD requirement will be published. All commonly used breeds now have CED EPDs available.

Second, all breeds in the International Genetic Solutions (IGS) genetic evaluation are now set to a common requirement. In the summer of 2018, breeds within the International Genetic Solutions switched to a single-step BOLT multi-breed genetic evaluation. The EPDs for animals in the IGS genetic evaluation are directly comparable across breeds.

In 2017, the Red Angus requirement for CED was a CED of 8, which represents the 30th percentile. Less than 5% percent of heifers breed to a bull with a CED EPD of 8 or larger had calving difficulty.We feel that this require is meeting the need to reduce cal…

Show-Me-Select heifer producers meet with Missouri Cattlemen, Jan. 4

Written by Duane Dailey

Beef cattlemen will gain insights into Show-Me-Select replacement heifers Friday, Jan. 4, at the start of their annual meeting in Columbia.
The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association (www.mocattle.org) meeting runs Jan. 4-6, 2019, at the Holiday Inn Executive Center. The SMS group usually meets at the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. They will join on the first day for the heifer meetings.
“Joining two groups benefits both,” says Dave Patterson, MU Extension beef reproduction specialist. “Both sides gain.”
An educational seminar is planned for 2-5 p.m. on Jan. 4. Focus is on heifer development.
Highlights are two SMS panels. The first covers “The Role of the Veterinarian in Heifer Development.” The other has five producers telling of success.
Many veterinarians urge clients to follow breeding protocols of MU Extension for heifer development. A big SMS attraction to farmers is calving ease.
Trouble-free calving also gains favor with veterinarians. That cuts …

Beef Genetics Researchers Seek to Understand Technology Utilization: Survey Respondents Sought

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Beef cattle producers have a wide range of selection tools available for use in selection of breeding stock. These range from visual appraisal to EPD (expected progeny differences) and selection indexes that leverage genomic technologies. Adoption of new technologies by the beef industry has dramatically changed beef cattle selection strategies and opportunities. Beef genetics and genomic tools continue to evolve at a rapid rate.
To aid the development of new selection tools and their adoption by producers, researchers seek to understand current attitudes and perceptions of industry stakeholders. Producers and industry participants are encouraged to take part in an online survey to help inform the development of a new beef cattle selection decision support tool. This work is part of the activities funded through a recent USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Critical Agriculture Research and Extension grant (2018-68008-27888) awarded to research and extension …

Open House at Southwest Center Shares Beef Cattle Research and Technology

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University of Missouri's Southwest Research Center near Mt. Vernon hosted an open house December 3rd that gave attendees a peek at the direction beef cattle research is taking at the 890 acre Center.

Dr. Jordan Thomas, MU Extension beef reproduction specialist, led the presentations by asking if producers think they can afford not to use technology. Specifically, he mentioned estrus synchronization and artificial insemination.

"The genetics of the AI bred calves allows producers to be competitive with the best herds in the country due to the use of elite bulls with higher accuracy expected progeny differences (EPD)," said Thomas. "The protocol results in more early-born heifers that are more likely to conceive earlier and remain in the herd longer."

That longevity adds to herd profitability over the females lifetime. Their early-born steer mates will also be heavier than those out of a natural service sire that's born late in the calving season.

Dr. Jared D…

BIF Genetic Prediction: Decision Support Using Customizable Indices Across Breeds

Matt Spangler
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Are we done with changes? Releasing a single-step evaluation should allow us to focus attention on other topics and needs.

EPD have been available to the U.S. beef industry for over 40 years. Survey results suggest that 30% of beef producers use EPDs or indexes as their primary selection criteria. Part of the lack of technology adoption is likely due to the confusion surrounding how best to use them. Also, some breed associations publish in excess of 20 EPD per animal. There are increasing number of EPDs, but we continue to publish indicator traits such as Birth Weight, when we have the economically relevant trait published, Calving Ease in this case.

Selection indexes were first published in 1942, but the first breed-wide selection index for beef cattle was published in 2004.

We have terminal and general purpose indexes in the beef industry. "We don't have any truely maternal indexes in the beef industry," Spangler said. We do…

BIF Genetic Prediction: Would You Drive a Race Car WIthout Steering?

Lee Leachman
Leachman Cattle of Colorado

Leachman's uses three indexes, $Ranch which is birth through weaning, $Feeder which is weaning to carcass, and $Profit which is $Ranch and $Feeder combined.

"Most of us as breeders cannot look at 22 traits and compute a quadratic equation to identify the best combination of traits." Leachman said.

On the female side they are adding $2 per cow per year using the $Ranch index. They have data from a cooperator showing an increase in pounds weaned per cow exposed.

"We know we can make rapid change. We know it can be significant," Leachman said.

With Lu Ranch, they added an inch to ribeye, doubled the number of cattle qualifying for CAB, and improved other traits included in the indexes.

Leachman worked with his cooperators and after three years of discussion, they were able to share the indexes with other seedstock producers. Over 50 breeders are included in the evaluation. Over 38,000 records are added each year.

Would you d…

BIF Genetic Prediction: Genetic Evaluation at the American Hereford Association

Shane Bedwell
American Hereford Association

Today is the 1 year plus 2 day anniversary of AHA's switch to single-step.This is the North American Hereford Genetic Evaluation including AHA and Canadian Hereford Association. They are currently working with Uruguay and Argentina are in the process of switching to the single-step approach.

Part of the process was building a fully automated genomic pipeline to run the genetic evaluation weekly. They have been very happy with the quality controls measures that were built into this pipeline.

AHA implemented a data pruning strategy to capitalize on their switch to whole-herd reporting in 2001. Animals that have data reported after 2001 plus 3 generations of their pedigree are included in the analysis.

They have performance data on 2.3 million animals. They have genotypes on over 70,000 animals.

Previously, all traits were fit in a single model. With the switch to single-step, AHA switched to 9 cluster models. They also re-parameterized the …