The American Angus Association, through Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI), continues to improve the convenience of its many genetic selection tools.
The Association Board of Directors earlier this year approved updating economic assumptions for its suite of dollar value indexes ($Values) in July, rather than the traditional December period, to avoid disruptions or significant changes during seasonal selection and marketing activities. The annual update will now take place in July, with the 2015 update scheduled for July 10.
“Our selection indexes are a very useful tool for our members to help weigh traits most important to their commercial customers, and those indexes depend on certain economic assumptions,” explained Dan Moser, AGI president and Association director of performance programs. “Angus breeders and other folks who use registered Angus genetics in their commercial programs could see changes for indexes like $W, $F and $B when those assumptions are updated to more accurately reflect market conditions.”
Timing is everything. Moser says running the analysis earlier in the year, farther from the peaks of sale season, should offer more convenience for members. Convenience and simplicity, after all, are at the root of multi-trait selection indexes.
“Selection indexes allow cattle producers to make directional change in several traits at once while taking into account both genetics and economics,” says Tonya Amen, AGI director of genetic services. “An index may be challenging to develop, but the end result is easy to use in a multi-trait approach.”
$Values are estimates of how future progeny of each sire are expected to perform, on average, compared to progeny of other sires in the database, if the sires were randomly mated to cows and if calves were exposed to the same environment.
Currently, the Association’s suite of $Values includes Weaned Calf Value ($W), Feedlot Value ($F), Grid Value ($G), Beef Value ($B) and Cow Energy Value ($EN).
“What are the feed and other input costs? What are the revenue streams from the sale of fed cattle or weaned calves? The prices on those things are all dynamic,” Moser says. “Updating the economic assumptions allows us to more accurately describe the potential profitability differences between animals and improve how producers identify the genetics that best fit their operations.”
$Values on individual animals may be viewed at www.angus.org. Members and affiliates can also access $Values through the organization’s online management system, AAA Login.
Source: American Angus Association