Plateau in the EPD race?

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hornedfrogbbq
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Plateau in the EPD race?

Postby hornedfrogbbq » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:05 am

It seems to me that the "EPD arms race" may have changed a bit. The all-mighty $B is no longer king. It seems like seed stock producers chased it to the detriment of moderate size, milk and high fertility. The cow/calf operator knows where he makes his money and his costs or he isn't in this business that long.

Ten X and some of the early big EPD bulls have had sons that refine some of their faults and we continue to make some strides but the rapid change in EPD's from 10 years ago seems to have slowed to us. The Angus Association isn't meaning to keep the EPD's in the smoke but their recent move to the one-step process changed the EPD set fairly significantly.

We still see some folks chasing the Byergo Magic's of the world but more and more we are seeing the heavy sales from ABS and others in the less high $B but more well rounded sires. Mill Bar Hickok, Tour of Duty, Hoover Dam, Basin Payweight, Rampage, Bruiser etc. While these all have good $B, they are not leading in that catagory. They are more focused on maternal and efficiency with added growth.

Where do you all see this going? Which bulls will sell the most semen in 2018? Obviously that doesn't mean they are the best bulls but I'm wondering where you all see the industry moving. It seems to us that the seed stock producers are going to a more balanced trait bull. They still throw the circus bull in there with stupid numbers (and maybe many physical faults) but for the most part, it seems to me that the industry is moving more moderate?
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Re: Plateau in the EPD race?

Postby Ebenezer » Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:04 pm

Probably just a lull between fads. Like a pack of beagles that lose the scent of the first rabbit need to search a bit to start another race. The problem is never the cows: it's the people who think the other folks might get a little ahead of them.
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Re: Plateau in the EPD race?

Postby Warrior2154 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:45 pm

Some of the high WW and YW bulls seem to also have high YH and MH so I wonder if we will see some more frame in Angus. Hopefully not like the frame race.
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Re: Plateau in the EPD race?

Postby Ebenezer » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:08 am

Warrior2154 wrote:Some of the high WW and YW bulls seem to also have high YH and MH so I wonder if we will see some more frame in Angus. Hopefully not like the frame race.

Weight is a cost to maintain either short or tall. Tall indicates slower maturity patterns which we found out about in the last frame fad chase. Not sure either are helpful in a herd of cows unless you own a feed truck and do not expect a calf too often. Goodness has a pattern. It is generally not on the fringe of a species due to extremes.
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Re: Plateau in the EPD race?

Postby 76 Bar » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:14 am

http://m.hpj.com/livestock/have-epds-helped-us-reach-optimal-cattle-breeding/article_ce168307-5f2b-5cb4-9b90-3eaf18edeabb.html
Extremes will prevail as long as bull buyers (both seed stock AND commercial producers) subscribe to the mentality that "more is better". I'd wager the later group quite likely is clueless regarding breed average of his breed of choice.
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Re: Plateau in the EPD race?

Postby VirginiaCattle » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:24 pm

The radg component is the biggest curveball.

Efficiency could gain us the most as an industry but few measure it.

So $b when based on extreme radg with no data is very susceptible to fall.

I think falling back to the $160 to $180 range could be advisable to choosing a $230 propped up on a .5 radg and 80 cw
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Re: Plateau in the EPD race?

Postby elkwc » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:06 pm

I've read several of these articles recently. Most talk about optimum or moderate milk, height, and weight, gain but none have gave their idea of what it is. I personally think it varies some with the environment. I've been giving second thought to cow size. If cattle in the frame size 5.0 range weren't docked I might go in that direction. Now it seems frame size and muscling are two things a feeder buyer looks for and pays extra for. Our herd on the average is 80-100 lbs less than it was 4 years ago and at least a half a frame size less.

We are seeing more RFI testing here on bulls and heifers. Many breeders I've talked too feel that is it beneficial in selection. And it has shown in those they have fed out. I know for sure we are going to have to make some adjustments over the next 3-5 years. It will be interesting where the breed associations go with their programs.
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Re: Plateau in the EPD race?

Postby UG » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:25 am

I don't blame the breed associations for the trend in certain EPDs. EPDs are tools that the associations provide their members and commercial customers. It is interesting to see how so many breeders jump on a trait, and has been stated before, they feel that more is better.

A very wise and older seedstock producer has often commented that as we put selection pressure on one trait, it will generally have a negative effect on another (i.e. more milk often results in decreased breed back of cows; higher growth often results in larger birth weights and more frame).

A trend that seems to be picking up with some producers is selecting for smaller, "more efficient" cows. Around 2000 Kit Pharo was one of the only producers out there promoting that a smaller cow is more efficient. It seems in the past five to ten years more and more breeders and "experts" are promoting that as well. Though I agree that our cows were getting too big 20 years ago, it seems that for many environments we may be going to far the other way. Feeders want calves that will grow, and they are not bidding as much (or at all) for the smaller framed calves, as they recognize that they will finish too early and lack carcass weight.
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Re: Plateau in the EPD race?

Postby Ebenezer » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:54 am

Genomics is being used more and truth-checking the EPDs, so to speak. There are downward adjustments for those that were supposed to be trait leaders due to over inflated expectations. Why? I guess the "extra EPDs" from surplus feeding or maybe a bit of exaggeration on some promoter's data have been dropped down to reality. That has plateaued growth of some of the EPDs.

The problem is that EPDs are marketing tools rather than secondary selection tools. And in unproven animals or lightly used animals there is such a potential range of expression of the assumed average of the parents that it is pretty silly to use EPDs as a primary sort function. An example: BW and CED. You can read all of the EPDs on unproven bulls you want to. But, from experience, there is something about the linkage back to the maternal grand dam that you ought to check out. It might not show up in the EPD because of the average of the parents but it is a lesson to be learned. Genes are tricky little buggers.

Associations will go along with any fad because fads create excitement and excitement creates sales and promotion. They are funded by the members but will grow into an independent government that needs the membership's money but work independently of the general membership and often to their harm or with bias towards power individuals.

Until Kit and all the experts with an ability to write articles about the "greatness of small" put an order buyer in every sale barn willing to pay top dollar for small framed cattle they are merely gaining on other's losses.
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Re: Plateau in the EPD race?

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:20 am

I put out a newsletter 5 times a year, so I am constantly scanning articles. 10 to 15 (maybe more - time is irrelevant to me anymore) years ago, articles were all promoting smaller is better. I virtually never see that now. Research has taken it further than just how many cows you can run on a specific number of acres. Every animal takes up a certain amount of your time (time is money). Price lost on number of pounds produced and lower price for the smaller calves all point to a moderate cow size is the most money making. What is moderate?? That depends on your resources. All boils down to what works best for your environment.
I have and always will promote EPD's are a TOOL. Don't chase one trait. (be careful of what you wish for!). Every good trait, has a negative trait that is linked to it. Keep things in moderation. You want to increase WW? Pick a bull that has a better WW than what you have at home, and has equally as good or better other traits. Don't pick the top WW bull out there.

And breed associations do not promote what EPD you should be chasing. They provide information for you to utilize. People promote EPD's.
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Re: Plateau in the EPD race?

Postby elkwc » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:19 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:I put out a newsletter 5 times a year, so I am constantly scanning articles. 10 to 15 (maybe more - time is irrelevant to me anymore) years ago, articles were all promoting smaller is better. I virtually never see that now. Research has taken it further than just how many cows you can run on a specific number of acres. Every animal takes up a certain amount of your time (time is money). Price lost on number of pounds produced and lower price for the smaller calves all point to a moderate cow size is the most money making. What is moderate?? That depends on your resources. All boils down to what works best for your environment.
I have and always will promote EPD's are a TOOL. Don't chase one trait. (be careful of what you wish for!). Every good trait, has a negative trait that is linked to it. Keep things in moderation. You want to increase WW? Pick a bull that has a better WW than what you have at home, and has equally as good or better other traits. Don't pick the top WW bull out there.

And breed associations do not promote what EPD you should be chasing. They provide information for you to utilize. People promote EPD's.


Jeanne I've seen the Hereford and Angus people push certain EPD's. For a while in the Angus it was BW and CED. Then it was $B. I listened to a discussion recently and one breeder asked what EPD or trait they would push next? There was a mix of PB and commercial breeders in the discussion. As he said it seems they have backed off the $B. I read several articles 2-4 years ago pushing BW, CED and then $B. The same with Herefords the association seemed to push BW & CED for a while. I agree it seems certain breeders push carcass, RFI testing, WW &YW, ect but the associations seem to at least around here push certain traits also. They also push their Genomic testing.
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VirginiaCattle
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Re: Plateau in the EPD race?

Postby VirginiaCattle » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:52 pm

Why is it that, in Angus, 10 years ago 80lbs yearling was maternal and anything above was terminal?

Same people today will claim that 110 is maternal but 140 isn't.

My question... If you have no faith in epds as a tool, why consult them at all? The trailing target method confuses me.
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Re: Plateau in the EPD race?

Postby hornedfrogbbq » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:03 pm

VirginiaCattle wrote:Why is it that, in Angus, 10 years ago 80lbs yearling was maternal and anything above was terminal?

Same people today will claim that 110 is maternal but 140 isn't.

My question... If you have no faith in epds as a tool, why consult them at all? The trailing target method confuses me.



You lost me...I am a newby. Can you please explain that a bit more? Sorry in advance for the bother.
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Re: Plateau in the EPD race?

Postby VirginiaCattle » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:09 pm

hornedfrogbbq wrote:
VirginiaCattle wrote:Why is it that, in Angus, 10 years ago 80lbs yearling was maternal and anything above was terminal?

Same people today will claim that 110 is maternal but 140 isn't.

My question... If you have no faith in epds as a tool, why consult them at all? The trailing target method confuses me.



You lost me...I am a newby. Can you please explain that a bit more? Sorry in advance for the bother.


The question I pose is if you think "maternal" is at the 60th percentile, but weights keep increasing, which is really the criteria?

Are we choosing on a specific weight or on the percentiile in an ever-increasing environment?

To me you're either on board with epds or you're opposed to them. Hanging off the caboose of a moving train isn't logical to me...get on or off.
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VirginiaCattle
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Re: Plateau in the EPD race?

Postby VirginiaCattle » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:22 pm

"I don't trust epds"

"I choose moderate epds"

"People chase epds, I stay in the middle"

All these thoughts baffle me.

You do find merit in the process or you don't.

Why only think things are ok at an ever-changing average? If you didnt think the average should have changed, you should be selecting on the average of whatever year you already decided was optimal.

The philosophy reminds me of the Amish...they picked their time period. I've always wondered why they didn't choose one more primitive...but there they are. I've wondered why the 1800's to draw a line?
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