The American Angus Association continues to provide cutting-edge selection tools for commercial and seedstock producers with its introduction of Custom $Value Indexes. The Custom $Values are designed for within-herd use in assisting commercial bull buyers producing for a specified market. The interactive $Value site, available through AAA Login at www.angusonline.org, allows users to customize postweaning and carcass economic components to create tailored within-herd $Values for their given scenarios.
Custom $Values are a specialized version of the breed-wide $Values. The $Value Indexes were first introduced in the Spring 2004 Sire Evaluation Report and are designed to evaluate tradeoffs for producers based on real-world economics. Feedlot Value ($F), Grid Value ($G) and Beef Value ($B) are the first indexes in a series of bio-economic values, expressed in dollars per head, to assist commercial beef producers in genetic selection decisions.
"Most bull buyers tie the traditional $Beef Value into their breeding programs when wanting to refine genetic choices for postweaning performance and carcass merit," says Sally Northcutt, Association director of genetic research. "However, some Angus breeders are working one-on-one with their customers to tailor bull selections for a specified market or target product end point. In this case, the Custom $Values are helpful in building scenarios for specific quality grade and yield grade premiums/discounts and then ranking animals on customized $B."
The interactive values generated on owned animals through AAA Login are preceded by a C to indicate they are designed as a within-herd specialized decision-making tool. As with the traditional $Values, the values created interactively are not to be used as a single-emphasis selection tool, since they only encompass postweaning and carcass performance.
The $Values are calculated for animals with growth trait and end-product expected progeny differences (EPDs). The $F assigns a dollar per head difference in expected progeny performance for postweaning genetic merit. The $G combines quality grade and yield grade attributes, and is calculated for animals with carcass EPDs, ultrasound EPDs, or both types of EPDs. $B is a prediction of the dollar-per-head progeny difference in combined postweaning and carcass merit. The $B value includes components of $F and $G, but is not just a sum of the two. $B facilitates what almost every beef breeder is already seeking simultaneous multi-trait genetic improvement for feedlot and carcass merit, based on dollars and cents.
Traditional $Values are printed in the 2004 Fall Sire Evaluation Report and may be viewed and sorted by accessing the Sire Evaluation search page at www.angussiresearch.com. Also, members may access $Values for their owned animals through AAA Login.
For more information contact the American Angus Associations performance programs department at (816) 383-5100 or log on to www.angus.org.