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Angus Journal

The Angus Journal Daily, formerly the Angus e-List, is a compilation of Angus industry news; information about hot topics in the beef industry; and updates about upcoming shows, sales and events. Click here to subscribe.

News Update

June 15, 2016

Understanding Indexes

Selection indexes, like dollar-values developed by the American Angus Association, were created to help producers by simplifying their genetic selection decisions. They take into account genetic and economic values to select for multiple traits of economic merit.

Dollar-value indices are expressed in dollars per head that estimate how future progeny of each sire are expected to perform, on average, compared to progeny of other sires. Matt Spangler, a beef extension genetic specialist, explains how to maximize selection decisions.

“Those are the tools that allow the producers to select on multiple traits simultaneously, and really try to improve overall profitability,” Spangler says. “Selection indices can either be terminal or maternal in nature. If they sell (at) weaning and retain replacement heifers, then use an index that makes those same assumptions, instead of an index that’s assumed to be terminal.”

Watch this week’s The Angus Report online to learn more. You can also catch the show at 1:30 p.m. CST Saturday and 7:30 a.m. CST each Monday morning on RFD-TV.

AGI Announces Updates to Economic Assumptions

Beginning July 1, Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) will use updated economic assumptions to calculate the dollar value indexes ($Values) included in the American Angus Association’s weekly genetic evaluation. These economic assumptions, or economic weights, are assigned to EPD components included in the $Values representing both revenue and costs affecting the production system.

The $Values predict differences in profitability of animals rather than in pounds of performance and allow for multi-directional change of several traits included in the index. Economic assumptions are based on three-year rolling averages and are updated every year in July. This allows for $Values to more accurately reflect the market trends of the beef industry.

Are They Really My Parents?

Every day hundreds of records are reported to the American Angus Association to be entered into the weekly genetic evaluation. Expected progeny differences (EPDs) and corresponding accuracies are predicted based on the information provided. Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) works tirelessly to ensure these values are of the highest quality. Making sure the producer receives the greatest accuracy starts on their operation.

Proper parent identification on animals reported for registration is one of the most vital pieces of information in the database. This allows for appropriate pedigree assignment and estimation of EPDs, especially on young animals. Animals with no progeny or genomic information rely heavily on pedigree information to calculate these values.

In most breed association databases, a 5% error rate in pedigree reporting is observed. This not only includes sire misidentification, but also inaccurate dam assignment. Producers have taken advantage of genomic testing to correctly identify sires, especially if multi-sire mating systems or AI alongside natural-service sires are used. Today’s genomic technology using single-nucleotide-polymorphism (SNP) markers can correctly identify the sire and dam mating with nearly perfect accuracy.

To continue reading, access the Angus Media news article online.

RFD-TV in High Definition

Mediacom Communications has launched RFD-TV in high definition (HD) across its national footprint. RFD-TV, “Rural America’s Most Important Network,” is the only national television network dedicated to the rural and western lifestyle. RFD-TV’s award-winning programs Market Day Report and Rural Evening News are key sources of agribusiness and rural news for the approximately 60 million Americans who live in rural areas.

The programming also draws interest for those in America’s urban centers who have an interest in the traditional country music, rural lifestyle and equine and western sports programming. RFD-TV’s stated goal is to “reconnect city and country” and this agreement goes a long way to doing just that.

The system-wide launch of RFD-TV in HD is the latest in a long-standing relationship. The companies have worked closely for many years. Mediacom was the first cable system to distribute RFD-TV in September of 2002 and more recently partnered on Rural Town Hall, a forum where each of the 2016 presidential candidates spoke about their views on issues pertaining to rural America.

Boyle Named AMSA Fellow

Elizabeth Boyle, Kansas State University (K-State) Department of Animal Sciences and Industry (ASI) professor and extension specialist, has been named an American Meat Science Association (AMSA) Fellow and is a recipient of the 2016 AMSA Signal Service Award. She will be honored during the AMSA 69th Reciprocal Meat Conference June 21 in San Angelo, Texas.

Boyle has been a member of the K-State ASI faculty since 1992. She has worked primarily in extension to enhance the quality and safety of meat products and as a liaison providing scientific and technical assistance to meat processors, consumers, and government and trade associations. Since 1993, she has provided HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) training to industry, and in 1997, together with a colleague, developed an undergraduate course in HACCP.

For more information, view the K-State news release online.



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