Top Dollar Angus: DNA Scores Match Sire Expected Progeny Differences
Denver, CO – Predictable performance is sought by cattle producers in all segments of the beef supply chain. The good news is that today’s genetic tools, Expected Progeny Differences, bioeconomic indexes and commercial DNA tests, do an excellent job assisting ranchers with this important task. Top Dollar Angus is currently conducting a field study to demonstrate how genetic differences, as depicted by sire EPDs, can be followed through progeny DNA scores and then to actual performance differences in growth and carcass traits. Partners in the project include Mike John, Huntsville, MO, Sydenstricker Genetics, Mexico, MO and Neogen Corporation.
Project Methods: During the late fall of 2019, fifty-five head of yearling F1 Hereford x Angus heifers were synchronized and randomly mated to one of two Sydenstricker Angus sires via artificial insemination. The two sires were selected because they are significantly different in their growth and carcass traits (see table below). Sire A, born in 2015 and a high use sire in the Angus breed, ranks on the upper end of the breed for growth and carcass value traits and is in the elite category for $Beef. Sire B, born in 1996, is older and lower in genetic merit for the same traits (see table below).
Calves from these matings were born during August and early September 2020. Then at approximately 4 1/2 months of age, they were DNA tested with Igenity Beef® and sire verified. A total of 31 calves matched one of the project’s two sires, with 18 head confirmed to Sire A and 13 more matched with Sire B.
An important part of the project was to illustrate how the calves’ Igenity Beef scores would align with established EPD differences between the sires themselves. Progeny average scores are presented in the chart below, using the 1-10 Igenity Beef scoring system. Higher scores are more favorable, indicating greater performance potential. For all traits evaluated, progeny by Sire A had significantly higher DNA scores.
Project next steps will be to collect complete phenotypic growth and carcass data as the calves mature, are finished in a Nebraska feedlot and then harvested at 16-17 months of age. Both EPDs and Igenity Beef scores have proven to be good predictors of actual cattle performance. Cattle producers need predictable performance, and, when complete, the current field study should again provide validation that today’s genetic tools can assist tremendously in that regard.
Top Dollar Angus, Inc. was founded in 2014 with the purpose of bringing differentiated identity and market recognition to Angus- and Red Angus-influenced feeder cattle and calves that objectively rank in the top 25% of the population for growth and carcass traits. During 2020, Top Dollar Angus conducted business in 28 states and Canada and continues to expand its core business by encouraging cow-calf producers to produce superior genetics and through helping them get rewarded on sale day.
Top Dollar Angus is a genetic verification and marketing assistance company focused on the best Angus-based feeder calves in the beef industry. Top Dollar Angus is one of the first genetic verification providers for commercial feeder cattle, and the only entity focused exclusively on Angus and Angus-based calves with top 25 percent growth and carcass traits. For more information visit www.TopDollarAngus.com