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New Beefmaster Commercial Tool: Igenity Beefmaster

 

By Lance Bauer, Beefmaster Breeders United Director of Breed Improvement

A seedstock producer’s main goal is to produce animals that will help the commercial cattleman increase his profits and continually improve his cattle. Seedstock producers should be making choices to improve their cattle, so that the commercial cowman can use those cattle to improve his herd. Seedstock producers regularly select cattle for performance and they use EPDs to help improve in areas that their herd is lacking. Commercial cattlemen can use EPDs to select bulls with the performance they need to work on their cow base. With Beefmaster bulls many of these cattlemen are retaining the heifers and using them as replacements. What if there was a way to offer the commercial cattle producer another selection tool for these replacement females?

There is now a way! Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) is releasing a commercial female chip that will be a tool for selecting commercial females, that are at least 50% Beefmaster.

This new way is called Igenity Beefmaster and it is a product that will be offered by BBU as another selection tool for commercial producers. This product will calculate molecular breeding values (MBVs) on heifers that are at least 50% Beefmaster, for the traits that have EPDs. These MBVs will be in a format of a score from 1-10. There will also be a Maternal Advantage Index and Terminal Advantage Index. The Maternal Advantage will be based on $M and the Terminal Advantage based on $T. The Maternal and Terminal Advantage indexes will be on a dollar basis. These are added selection tools that can be used to help determine which heifers to keep back for replacements. It is also information that can be used to help sell commercial females, if they have the chip run on them. The MBVs are derived from the BBU genomic evaluation, that is run twice a year, and they provide another tool for selecting heifers that perform well, thus making the best replacements. Igenity Beefmaster can also be used as a tool when marketing commercial heifers. Producers can run the Igenity Beefmaster chip on their heifers and use the results to help add value to replacement females that are being marketed.

Beefmaster breeders will be promoting this test to their commercial bull customers so that they can utilize this tool. Commercial producers should add this tool to their toolbox and use it in selection decisions. Animals with scores higher than five are better for the trait that is being evaluated. The Maternal and Terminal Advantages are in dollars, so the higher the dollar value the more valuable the heifer is for breeding. This tool can also be used to identify the sire of commercial females, which is great for the commercial cattleman. For example, if a cowman has five bulls with a group of cows and one of those bulls doesn’t sire any calves, he knows that he has an issue. He can also identify which of the bulls produces the most replacement heifers and continue to use that bull to build a cow base. The commercial cattleman will also have an idea of where his cows stand and what traits to select for in a bull to compliment his cows.

The Igenity Beefmaster Commercial Heifer chip is a great new tool for the commercial producer and is also valuable in marketing commercial females that are at least one half Beefmaster. This product gives the producer a set of MBVs on a 1-10 scale that can be added to the toolbox as an addition selection tool. When the bulls being used have DNA on them the producer can also identify those higher performing bulls, as well as bulls that do not breed as many cows. This is a great product for all commercial bull customers to use and add more data to their cow herd. Igenity Beefmaster will be available to order from Beefmaster Breeders United for $25 per chip, for more information contact the BBU office at 210-732-3132 or contact directly Lance Bauer at lbauer@beefmasters.org or Dusty Pendergrass at dpendergrass@beefmasters.org.

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