Beginning this fall, Angus breeders will have access to the industry's latest advancement in selecting animals for feed efficiency - the residual average daily gain EPD (or RADG).
The American Angus Association and Angus Genetics Inc. will introduce the RADG EPD, which characterizes post weaning efficiency differences in future progeny of Angus breeding stock. The new EPD capitalizes on the use of individual feed intake data, a sizeable growth database in Angus cattle, and the latest genomic technology.
"Feed costs are a significant financial component that producers must consider. The residual average daily gain EPD helps both seedstock and commercial cattlemen select Angus genetics expected to gain more on a comparable amount of feed," says Bill Bowman, AGI president.
The RADG EPD is the result of individual intake data captured from several years of research projects funded through the Angus Foundation and the American Angus Association and conducted by University of Illinois, North Carolina State University, and Iowa State University. Aided by technological advancements in intake measuring systems, this research — as well as cooperative data from breeders and bull test stations - has provided individual feed intake data that becomes an integral part of the genetic evaluation.
"The RADG EPD is a balanced approach to identifying cattle that — with a given quantity of feed — excel at converting," says Sally Northcutt, American Angus Association director of genetic research. "The leveraging of the individual intake data, combined with the genomic information on dry matter intake in a weekly genetic evaluation will give Angus producers nearly 'real-time' selection of more feed-efficient genetics."
"We wanted to put this selection tool in industry-friendly terminology that best represented what's being evaluated," Bowman says. "Producers are already familiar with average daily gain so this should be a relatively easy tool to understand and adopt."
In addition, the use of DNA technology allows calves to be included in the evaluation for RADG EPDs, providing ranchers with tools to more rapidly target economically relevant traits. RADG EPDs will be calculated on a weekly basis as part of the American Angus Association's National Cattle Evaluation.
Source: American Angus Association