Showing posts from May, 2020

Selection Decisions

Use Information Extracted from Data to Breed a Better Calf Crop and Cow Herd Here is a fun conversation starter on your next visit to the coffee shop or diner. What is the most important trait in cattle production? What trait do you think is most important? Another way to ask this question, how do you define a "good" cow? In a typical group of cattle producers, you will get a lot of different answers. One person will say weaning weight and another will say marbling. A third may say calving ease, "Gotta have a live calf." A fourth may say fertility. But, why are these different traits important? Because they affect the profitability of beef operations! Profit is the most important trait in beef production. The profitability of a bull's or cow's calves should be our number one criterion when selecting breeding stock.  How many beef producers go to a bull sale to buy a load of soil or a bag of feed? In other words, do we go to a bull sale to buy the environmen

Angus TV: Hair Shedding Research EPD Developed

We will have a scientific article describing the hair shedding research soon. Work was completed by Harly Durbin during her time at Angus Genetics Inc. as an intern.

Directional Selection and Local Adaptation in Beef Cattle

My group has posted a new preprint on bioRxiv .  You can check it out here: Warning, it is written for a technical audience, not in cowboy terms. So- what are the take-home messages for farmers and ranchers? We can identify the DNA variants responding to your selection decisions. You tend to select cattle that have better immune systems. Hormone production in the ovaries is under selection in Red Angus. Makes sense based on the breed's focus on fertility. Muscle development is under selection in Gelbvieh.  We can identify the DNA variants that lead to cattle adapted to their environment Blood vessel tightening or loosening is under environmental selection. The brain and neuron signaling is an important part of environmental adaptation. We are losing local adaptation in beef cattle. Check out this Twitter thread to see figures from the paper. Regarding the last point, we can fix the