Simplifying Genetics and EPDs
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Simplifying Genetics and EPDs

(Music) Starting sorting through EPDs and sale catalog can be a really daunting complex task with all the data that’s available. What are some ways that can producers can use and tools they can use to help simplify that process? Warren, there’s a couple approaches producers can use to simplify using a EPDs to make good profitable selection decisions. And one of those is first to outline their production system and looking forward to the future. How are they planning on marketing animals because once we know how animals are going to be market that is what age, what stage of production, we have a lot better idea of what traits and therefore which EPDs a producer should look at. When I look through a sale catalog and thinking about a specific production system I ask myself for that EPD if I could change it one unit, would it change my profitability? Meaning would it change my income, increase income hopefully or decrease my costs. And if that is the case then we can call that an economically relevant trait. And that’s one of the EPDs then that should be considered when they’re making selection decisions. Producers and again need to think about what makes them money, and what costs them money in their specific operation and then at that point they take that list of traits that biologically influences their profitability and look at the index traits for a variety of indexes. For instance, Angus Association has a number of different indexes. Figure out which of those indexes has traits that are similar to what makes a difference to their profitability. Then that’s the index they should use and the same is true for any breed Association Index because a number of breeds produce multiple indexes. Then they can use those indexes in their selection process. Now, an index you use just like an EPD, it’s the difference in index or dollar value that matters and that’s how we compare two potential bull purchase decisions, for instance. All of the indexes we have to date from the breed associations are actually generalized indexes. They’re meant to fit an average operation and some of these indexes lack traits that might be important to your operations. A weaning index, for instance, may not include cow fertility measures but that’s important to your operation, so you need to also look at the EPD that’s associated with that and select on that as well as on the index. So if an index is lacking in traits that are economically relevant in your operation you need to look at the EPD for those traits and include that in making your selection decisions. You still need to consider some of those convenience traits. You know good temperament, good structure some of those things as well. [Music]

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