The Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) recently released the Spring 2009 EPDs as updated by Colorado State Universities (CSU) Center for Genetic Evaluation of Livestock. EPDs on individual animals can be accessed through the Data Searches feature on the Association's website, RedAngus.org.
“EPDs are the beef industry's most complete genetic prediction tool and aid breeders in making important mating decisions,” said Larry Keenan, RAAA director of breed improvement.
Keenan noted RAAA and CSU completed research and improvements in calculating the Stayability EPD and the newly released data reflects these adjustments. Stayability predicts the probability that a bull's daughters will remain in the herd until she is at least 6 years of age. With over a decade of Total Herd Reporting (THR) data, the new Stayability calculations utilize THR information to its fullest extent.
The new calculations reflect the following changes:
1. Once a female enters a herd, she must remain productive each year until she is 6 years old in order to receive a positive observation for Stayability.
2. If a female rolls over to the next calving season (i.e. from calving in the spring to calving in the fall), she will receive a negative observation.
3. A female is now observed at calving instead of weaning to eliminate the possibility of her receiving a negative observation in the event her calf dies for abnormal reasons.
“Although these changes can be significant,” said Keenan, “the new Stayability EPD is certainly a better genetic prediction to aid in genetic improvement.”
For more information on EPDs and the improved Stayability EPD, visit the “Genetics” page on the RAAA website, RedAngus.org.