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BREEDIMPROVEMENT

A W O R D F R O M T H E C A N A D I A N S P E C K L E PA R K A S S O C I AT I O N :

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

PDs

Arguably, Peter Drucker’s adage from the world of business applies equally well to the beef seedstock industry. Speckle Park are coming off of two excellent years and looking forward to another. Now is our time to step up to the next level – conformational assessment, data collection, genomics, and estimations of breeding potential of the Speckle Park we offer the industry. The following article explains how the industry measures potential genetic merit in to improve seedstock quality. A famous adage from the American statistician W. Edwards Deming concisely describes today’s beef industry:

“In God we trust, all others must bring data.”

fundamentals of expected progeny differences BY DARRH BULLOCK, EXTENSION PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY

Beef cattle genetic evaluation is the process of taking all of the relevant information on an animal and converting it into a useful tool for selection. This process was started long ago when livestock producers began to realize that progeny often performed similar to their parents for certain traits. Even though they did not know this phenomenon was due to genetics, as we know today, the practice of selecting superior animals to produce the next generation is the foundation for animal breeding and is the purpose for beef cattle genetic evaluation. The first genetic evaluations were simply based on visual appraisal and progress was usually slow and limited. Through scientific discovery and applied practices, beef cattle genetic evaluation has evolved into a sophisticated methodology that incorporates pedigrees, phenotypic data and genomic information to provide producers with accurate selection

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T H E S P E C K L E PA R K J O U R N A L

tools for a wide variety of economically important traits. The tool that can best assist beef producers to make selection decisions on many production traits is Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs). The computation of EPDs traditionally required three elements: pedigree, phenotypic data, and an estimate of the heritability for the trait. For many breeds this is still the approach used, however, genomic information is playing an increasing role in genetic evaluations for breeds with enough genomic and phenotypic information to have accurate genomic predictors. For this article, the focus will be on genetic evaluation without genomic information. The pedigree is used to determine the relationship of each animal in the data set to the other animals in the data set. This is useful because it is known that closer relatives typically have more genes in common and are therefore more likely to

2017 Speckle Park Journal - Breeding Book  

Featuring the 2017 International Semen & Embryo Directory. The official publication of the Canadian Speckle Park Association, published by B...

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