Driving the Science
There’s little room for error in the cattle business. Angus producers need the most advanced information to make smart selection decisions, and
Angus Genetics Inc. provides it through genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences (GE-EPDs).
GE-EPDs have become the industry standard for herd improvement, building on decades of science-backed genetic evaluation tools originated and
maintained through the American Angus Association, home to the largest and ever-growing single-breed beef cattle database.
EPDs that traditionally contained pedigree, performance and progeny information can now also include results from available genomic, or DNA,
tests. These genomic results incorporated into GE-EPDs enhance accuracy and predictability — especially for EPDs of younger animals — and characterize
genetics for difficult-to-measure traits.
In fact, GE-EPDs on unproven animals have the same amount of accuracy as if they each had on average 20 progeny records, dependent on the trait of interest. With updated values generated on a weekly basis through the breed’s national
cattle evaluation, AGI provides the most accurate, most rapidly available tools to optimize selection decisions.
Importantly, genomic data allows EPDs to be calculated for specific traits on animals from herds of all sizes without a requisite contemporary group.
Understanding the Numbers
GE-EPDs begin on the farm or ranch with the collection of all pertinent weights and measures as well as a blood or hair sample from individual animals, identified and
submitted to AGI. After samples are processed and genomic data are provided through partnering labs, AGI’s team of genetic specialists and researchers incorporates
genomic results into EPDs.
While percent ranks (1-100) are also provided to producers for each trait, GE-EPDs remain the selection tool of choice since they account for all sources of information
including vital phenotypic measures.
And, since genomic information does not completely describe the variability inherent in the genetic makeup of animals, phenotypic weights and measures submitted
by Association members through AHIR® and MaternalPlus® will always remain important to the calculation of EPDs and $Value indexes. In addition, performance data
is also foundational to the refinement and continued validation of genomic technology over time.
All elements together provide the best possible resource for a producer making important genetic decisions.