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Showing posts from October, 2014

Food Babe Visits University of Florida


Post at Illumination Blog

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For those that have experienced the clarity and beauty of viewing the world through the lens of science, interacting with those who choose opinion and fear over facts and evidence can be very frustrating. But Kevin Folta, at the University of Florida didn't even get to interact with or question Ms. Hari about the misinformation she shares to a large audience. Head over to the Illumination blog to read Kevin Folta's thoughts. 

Brown Bagger EPD Updates

Jack Ward, Wade Shafer, and John Genho presented during todays NBCEC Brown Bagger seminar. They gave updates about how their breeds are utilizing genomic information.

Jack Ward
The American Hereford Association will release an Udder EPD in the Spring 2015 update, which is typically published in late December. They are also working on a Feed Efficiency EPD which could be released in December, but will more likely be in the Summer of 2015. In the Summer of 2015 the AHA will also publish a Sustained Cow Fertility EPD (similar to other breed's longevity EPDs) and a Heifer Calving Rate EPD (a measure of heifer fertility).

Ward also presented a nice analysis of price differences between bulls with and without genomic-enhanced EPDs. He set an upper limit of $15,000 to avoid high priced bulls that would skew the numbers. Bulls with traditional, low accuracy EPDs averaged $5,325. Bulls with genomic-enhanced EPDs averaged $7,475 at sale. More results can be seen in Ward's Hereford Geneti…

Angus Association Refines Genetic Evaluation
Expect Changes in $B Index Rankings

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*UPDATED 7 October 2014

I had a brief meeting with Dan Moser of Angus Genetics Inc today in which he informed me of several updates to the American Angus Association's genetic evaluations.

First of all, heifer pregnancy EPDs, which were not estimated this summer, are once again being successfully estimated. When the dataset became large the analysis would no longer run properly. Previously, the heifer's service sire was fit as a fixed effect in the EPD equations. This means sires were forced to have the same conception rate in every herd. In the new model, the service sire's conception rate is fit as a random effect, meaning that we do not perfectly measure the conception rate and allow for factors that influence conception, such as differences in semen handling, to vary between herds. The base year of the heifer pregnancy EPD was also changed from 2000 to 2005 due to 2005 being the earliest year with a large amount of pregnancy data.

Second, the fourth recalibration of Z…

American Gelbvieh Association Releases Genomic-Enhanced EPDs

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The American Gelbvieh Association (AGA) has released genomic-enhanced EPDs with the fall 2014 international cattle evaluation. Genomic-enhanced EPDs (GE EPDs) combine pedigree, individual performance and genomic information to save time and money, reduce risk, and accelerate the rate of genetic progress.

GE EPDs provide more precise EPDs based on a combination of both phenotype and DNA. One major benefit of these EPDs is risk reduction through increased accuracies. These increased accuracies save time when assessing young breeding stock as well as deliver commercial customer confidence when buying seedstock. Herd improvement is accelerated when breeders can more accurately identify young individuals with the best genetics.

GE EPDs also give the chance to collect data on economically important traits, which are expensive or difficult to measure.

The information from the genomic data can be as informative as a bull's first calf crop or a cow's lifetime production record. Since …