American Angus Association $Value Indexes Updated
By Kate Ryan
The American Angus Association® Board of Directors approved changes to the $Value Indexes during the February board meeting Feb. 18-21, 2019. Updated $Value Indexes are now available, and changes include revisions to Beef Value ($B); the construction of a new Maternal Weaned Calf Value ($M); updated economic models for Feedlot Value ($F), Grid Value ($G) and Cow Energy Value ($EN); and rounding all $Values to whole dollars to eliminate decimals. Quality Grade ($QG) and Yield Grade ($YG) will be removed because $QG is redundant to the marbling (Marb) EPD, and $YG is redundant to fat thickness (Fat) and ribeye area (RE) EPDs. In addition, a Combined Value ($C) which includes all traits that make up both $M and $B will be implemented June 2020.
“Our current $Value Index models have served us well since 2004,” said Dan Moser, Angus Genetics Inc. president. “But since 2004, technology has improved, and new EPDs have been created. So, an extensive research project was initiated in February of 2018, which included an industry survey of all sectors that allowed staff to gain insight into how Angus breeders utilize genetic tools. These results complemented the core research analysis that ultimately led to the updated $Value models.”
$B will be updated to better reflect current end points when finishing cattle. $M will provide a greater emphasis on maternal traits than any of the tools currently available to help producers better define efficiency in a cow-calf environment. And, rounding $Values to whole dollar units will take up less screen or catalog space when ranking animals, increasing readability in both digital and print formats. Improved models for yearling height (YH), mature weight (MW), mature height (MH), residual average daily gain (RADG) and dry matter intake (DMI) were also implemented.
Finally, a comprehensive education initiative will be conducted over the next 15 months to ensure that producers become familiar with $C before it is implemented and how it can be considered when making breeding decisions. Angus members can download $C figures and percentile rankings through their AAA Login on owned and active animals.
Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) staff worked alongside AbacusBio, a renowned animal breeding technology consulting company, to develop and conduct the survey, analyze the results and update economic models. The AGI team reviewed the findings and put together recommendations to best serve the goals of the membership and the breed. The recommendations were reviewed by the Board, and several were approved.
Click here for more information on the $Value Index updates.