Angus $Values

Dollar value indexes, or $Values, are a tool used to select for several traits at once based a specific breeding objective. An economic index approach takes into account genetic and economic values as well as the relationships between traits to select for profit. An index is challenging to develop, but the end result is easy to use, adding simplicity and convenience of a multi-trait approach.

$Values provide the opportunity for commercial producers to select for profitability given a specific breeding objective. Maternal weaned calf value ($M) and weaned calf value ($W) are expressed in dollars per head predicting pre-weaning profitability differences among different sire groups. Cow energy value ($EN) provides an opportunity to fine-tune the cow herd for costs associated with maternal milk and cow size. In addition, feedlot value ($F), grid value ($G) and beef value ($B) are economic index values, expressed in dollars per carcass, to assist commercial beef producers in selecting individuals profitable for terminal traits including feedlot gain and carcass merit.

$Values encompass the revenue generated from genetically derived outputs and associated costs (expenses) from required inputs. $Values only have meaning when used in comparing the relative merit or the ranking of two individuals. Each sire listed in this report is comparable to every other sire. The $Values are sensitive to the assumptions for the industry-relevant components used in calculating the indexes. Angus Genetics Inc., the American Angus Association and Certified Angus Beef® alongside side industry-leader CattleFax work together to update these economic assumptions annually, which are derived from the previous 7-year market trend rolling average. As with expected progeny differences (EPDs), variation in $Values between animals indicates expected differences in the relative value of progeny if random mating is assumed. Thus, a $Value has meaning only when used in comparison to the $Value of another animal.

$VALUES ($Maternal Weaned Calf Value, $Weaned Calf, and Cow $Energy)

As with other $Values, the Weaned Calf Value and Maternal Weaned Calf Value includes assumptions. The more influential assumptions are listed below:

Weaned steer calf$187 per cwt
Weaned heifer calf$174 per cwt
Hay Price (Alfalfa)$177 per ton
Hay Price (other)$130 per ton
Cow/Heifer herd mix80/20
Maternal Weaned Calf Value ($M)

Maternal weaned calf value ($M) is the most maternally-focused selection index currently available to Angus members and commercial users of Angus genetics. $M, expressed in dollars per head, aims to predict profitability differences in progeny due to genetics from conception to weaning. $M is built off of a self-replacing herd model where commercial cattlemen replace 25% of their breeding females in the first generation and 20% in subsequent generations. Remaining cull females and all male progeny are sold as feeder calves.

$M places greater emphasis on the cost side of commercial cow-calf production than any tool available in the past. Increased selection pressure on $M aims to decrease overall mature cow size while maintaining weaning weights consistent with today’s production. Under $M selection, less emphasis is placed on maternal milk, while heifer pregnancy and docility have an increased emphasis, and foot traits start to improve. The index finds cattle that are most profitable when producers receive no economic benefit for traits affecting post-weaning performance.

For example if Bull A has a $M of +75 and Bull B has a $M of +55 and both are mated to a comparable set of females, one would expect, on average, for Bull A’s progeny to be $20 more profitable per head for the cow/calf producer.

EPDs directly influencing the index include: calving ease direct and maternal, weaning weight, maternal milk, heifer pregnancy, docility, mature weight as well as foot angle and claw set.

Weaned Calf Value ($W)

Weaned calf value ($W) provides the expected dollar-per-head difference in future progeny preweaning performance from birth to weaning. $W assumes that producers retain 20% of their female progeny for replacements and sell the rest of their cull female and male progeny as feeder calves. Overtime, increased selection pressure on $W will increase weaning and yearling weight traits while also continuing to increase mature cow size. As with any $Value, $W only has meaning when used in comparing the relative merit or ranking of two individuals.

EPDs directly influencing $W include: birth weight, weaning weight, maternal milk and mature cow size (MW).

Cow Energy Value ($EN)

A cow energy value ($EN) is available to assess differences in cow energy requirements, expressed in dollars per cow per year, as an expected dollar savings difference in future daughters of sires. A larger value is more favorable when comparing two animals (more dollars saved on feed energy expenses). Components for computing the cow $EN savings difference include lactation energy requirements and energy costs associated with differences in mature cow size.

Cow Energy ($EN),
Savings, $/cow/year

  Cow Energy ($EN),
Savings, $/cow/year


In the above example, the expected difference in cow energy savings per cow per year for future daughters of the two animals is +11 (16 - 5 = +11).

Continuous selection for highly positive $EN animals, overtime, will result in cows with less overall mature size and maternal milk.

$VALUES ($Feedlot, $Grid, and $Beef)

Feedlot Value ($F), Grid Value ($G), and Beef Value ($B) are postweaning bio-economic $Values, expressed in dollars per head, to assist commercial beef producers by adding simplicity to genetic selection decisions. The $Values were developed primarily to serve as selection tools for commercial bull buyers.

$Values are reported in $/head with a higher value indicating greater profitability:

$F $G $B
Example +36 +28 +83

Although feedlot and carcass merit are important components of the beef production chain, it should be stressed to producers that $F, $G, or $B are not to be used as a single selection criterion, since the indexes only encompass postweaning and carcass performance.

$Feedlot, $Grid, and $Beef Values incorporate available gain, feed intake, and carcass EPDs, converted into economic terms, incorporating industry-relevant components for feedlot performance and carcass merit. These base components used to calculate $Values for any registered animal are:

Feedlot assumptions:

Time on feed (steer) Calf-fed/Yearling-fed231/161 Days
Yearling Steer$158 per cwt
Yearling Heifer$151 per cwt
Fed steer Dressed Delivered$204 per cwt. carcass

Grid assumptions:

Quality components:
Prime premium (above Choice)$21.03 $/cwt
CAB premium (above Choice)$5.10 $/cwt
Choice-Select spread$-11.90 $/cwt
Standard discount$-35.37 $/cwt
Yield components:
YG 1 premium$5.77 $/cwt
YG 2-2.5 premium$2.93 $/cwt
YG 2.5-3 premium$2.56 $/cwt
YG 4 discount$-13.17 $/cwt
YG 5 discount$-18.80 $/cwt
Industry Ave Steer Carcass Weight876 lbs $/cwt
Heavyweight discount (900-1000lb)$-9.32 $/cwt
Heavyweight discount (1000-1050lb)$-15.72 $/cwt
Heavyweight discount (1050+ lb)$-36.55 $/cwt
Beef Value ($B)

Beef value ($B) facilitates simultaneous multi-trait genetic selection for feedlot and carcass merit. $B is a terminal index representing the expected average dollar-per-carcass difference in the progeny postweaning performance and carcass value compared to progeny of other sires. This index assumes commercial producers wean all male and female progeny, retain ownership of these animals through the feedlot phase and market these animals on a quality-based carcass grid. EPDs directly influencing $B include: weaning and yearling weight, dry matter intake, as well as carcass weight, marbling, ribeye area and fat.

$B only has meaning when two animals are compared against one another. For instance, if Bull A has a $B of +90 and Bull B has a $B of +120, one would expect, on average, the progeny of Bull B to be $30 ($120 - $90 = $30) more profitable per carcass due to feedlot gain and carcass merit assuming both bulls were randomly mated to comparable females.

The resulting $B value is not designed to be driven by one factor, such as quality, red meat yield or weight. Instead, it is a dynamic result of the application of commercial market values to Angus genetics for both feedlot and carcass merit.

Feedlot Value ($F)

Feedlot Value ($F), an index value expressed in dollars per head, is the expected average difference in future progeny performance for postweaning merit compared to progeny of other sires. $F incorporates yearling weight (gain) and carcass weight along with feed efficiency traits, genomic information and trait interrelationships. The underlying objective assumes commercial producers will retain ownership of cattle through the feedlot phase and sell fed cattle on a carcass weight basis with no consideration of premiums or discounts for quality and yield grade.

Grid Value ($G)

Grid value ($G), an index value expressed in dollars per carcass, is the expected average difference in future progeny performance for carcass grid merit compared to progeny of other sires. The $G combines quality grade and yield grade attributes, and is calculated for animals with carcass EPDs. A seven-year rolling average is used to establish typical industry economic values for quality grade and yield grade schedules. Quality grade premiums are specified for Prime, CAB and Choice carcasses, as well as Select and Standard discounts. Yield grade premiums are incorporated for Yield Grade (YG) 1 and YG 2 (high-yielding carcasses), with discounts for YG 4 and YG 5 (low red meat yields).

The summation of $F and $G equates to $B.

Availability of $Values

$Value Search

$Values on individual animals may be viewed at on individual animals may be viewed at Members and affiliates can also access $Values through AAA Login.

Combined $Value Index

For more information on Combined Value ($C) including $C breed averages and percent rankings, click here.

Questions on American Angus Association performance programs can be directed to or 816-383-5100