New and advanced technologies are continuing to enhance the beef industry. Currently, the beef cattle selection parameter of EPDs (expected progeny differences) is now including data from genomic markers in some breeds to calculate genomic enhanced EPDs for some breed associations and the potential use and influence of the genomic enhanced EPDs is expanding.
A new DNA test is now available in the industry to identify the post-weaning gain and marbling potential of beef cattle. Certified Angus Beef® (CAB) recently announced the development of GeneMax™. This test is targeted to commercial cattlemen who want to know more about their cattle. CAB says GeneMax™ was designed to aid in the selection, marketing and management decisions for those with high-percentage (> 75%) Angus genetics sired by registered Angus bulls.
As producers make selection decisions based on a number of parameters (e.g. structural soundness, age, phenotype, etc.), GeneMax™ is an additional selection tool that can provide information to producers. The DNA test is designed to aid producers in identifying replacement heifers which can add more value to the herd and help to reach certain production parameters. The test can aid in providing information and direction for mating or culling decisions and to document the value and genetic potential of the feeder calves. GeneMax™ is also designed to assist feedlots in managing their risk as the gain and grading potential of the cattle is identified ahead of time with the goal to help determine the desired feeding parameters of the cattle. An online listing of Gene-Max™ tested cattle is available to connect buyers and sellers who have a common interest in high-quality cattle.
How does it work?
The DNA information is gathered through a tissue sample, with a blood sample being the preferred method. Once the sample is submitted it is analyzed and the results are returned to the producer within four weeks. The results are calculated by applying genomic results to economic weighting factors. A GMX™ Score of marbling and gain combined is determined and the score value will be between 1 and 100. A larger number is more favorable for the combined value. The results also include individual rankings for marbling and gain. A separate percentile-based value of 1-5 is calculated for the individual traits of marbling and gain. Animals testing in the top 20 percent are assigned a value of 5 and the next 20 percentile is assigned a 4 and on down from there. Rankings for all three scores are relative to the Angus populations in the GeneMax™ database.
More information can be found at www.cabpartners.com
Source: Lynn Gordon