The American Angus Association® reports another solid year for those who raise and benefit from Angus cattle. During the organization’s 130-year history, demand for high-quality beef has never been stronger, and genetic selection technology is more comprehensive than ever before.
Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) announced a seventh consecutive record sales year with one of the largest gains since the program began in 1978, and Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) reports more cattlemen are rapidly adopting high-density genomic trait tests.
Most importantly, optimism is rising as cattlemen begin rebuilding their herds.
“The cattle business has faced some challenging times during recent years, but the industry is poised for growth and our producers are equipped to rebuild the nation’s herd with leading Angus genetics,” says Bryce Schumann, Association chief executive officer. “Our members’ dedication to quality genetics and their ability to build the most reliable database in the cattle business has kept the Angus breed strong.”
The Association’s fiscal year (FY) 2013 ended Sept. 30, with members registering nearly 289,000 animals. Individual states that topped the list for Angus registrations were Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas and Oklahoma, respectively.
Year-end data also show that Angus breeders grossed more than $265 million in reported sales from Oct. 1, 2012, to Sept. 30, 2013. Angus bull sales averaged $4,398 per head, while Angus female sales averaged $3,589 per head in reported sales; a rise of about 6%.
Incorporating new technology
Angus breeders submit thousands of records every day to the Association headquarters in Saint Joseph, Mo. The information is added to the organization's growing database, which currently houses records on approximately 20 million animals on its servers. That computing power comprises the largest single-breed beef cattle database in the world and allows for the weekly release of expected progeny differences (EPDs) — a capability that facilitates more rapid and accurate herd improvement.
Genomic information is quickly becoming a significant component of the Association’s performance data. Thanks to its subsidiary Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI), record numbers of Angus cattle have been tested using high-density genomic trait tests. In fact, results are now included in evaluations for more than 40,000 animals.
The uptake in this technology provides Angus breeders the opportunity to better characterize herd genetics and make dependable breed improvements. AGI processes DNA samples used for parentage verification, genetic condition testing and the development of genomic-enhanced EPDs. In FY13, AGI processed more than 100,000 DNA samples.