Thoughts on Across Breed EPD's

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Anonymous

In an attempt to compare apples to apples in relation to different beef breeds, I took the most recent breed average EPDs and adjusted them based on the 2003 Across Breed EPD adjustments.

I compared Angus, Red Angus, Hereford, Limousin, Simmental, Charolais, and Gelbvieh since these are the most popular breeds in my area of the northern corn belt.

When I evaluated the adjusted numbers they didn't look right. For example, the average Angus sire has a 1.6 pound lighter birth weight, 13.1 pound heavier yearling weight, and 12.7 more pounds of milk than the average Red Angus sire. This surprised me since Red Angus, as a breed, has REQUIRED performance testing since the inception of their breed registry.

Several of the other breed comparisons also look incorrect. For example the average Angus sires milk EPD is 2.2 pounds heavier than the average Simmentals. I DON'T BELIEVE THIS.

I found on the Gelbvieh website that the American Gelbvieh Assn. (AGA) was concerned with this data also. As they pointed out, the Across Breed EPDs, which were developed by the Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) were developed based on "very small sample sizes at a single location." Consequently, the AGA has developed their own Across Breed EPDs for comparing Gelbvieh to Angus and Red Angus which look much more in line.

Does anyone else have any thoughts on the MARC Across Breed EPD accuracies?
 
OP
A

Anonymous

I don't put a lot of faith into the across breed EPDs, mainly because I don't think most breeds have reliable EPDs and that makes this entire EPD set unreliable. If you pay attention to accuracy on Angus EPDs, they are quite reliable. Across breed EPDs is another tool to help breeders decide what bull (mainly) will work best in their program. As for as milking, you might be surprised at how some Angus milk. In my part of the country, I have to look for AI bulls with lower milk EPDs. In another ongoing study, MARC has discovered that Angus ribeyes are comparable with Continental ribeyes, while they have maintained their marbling ability. The other British breeds being evaluated, Hereford and Red Angus, have not imporved their ribeye to the same point. Continental breeds have lowered their birthweights, but also their weaning and yearling weights and have not improved their marbling ability.

BTW, is the Gelbvieh article you referred to online? I'd like to read it. Thanks....

> In an attempt to compare apples to
> apples in relation to different
> beef breeds, I took the most
> recent breed average EPDs and
> adjusted them based on the 2003
> Across Breed EPD adjustments.

> I compared Angus, Red Angus,
> Hereford, Limousin, Simmental,
> Charolais, and Gelbvieh since
> these are the most popular breeds
> in my area of the northern corn
> belt.

> When I evaluated the adjusted
> numbers they didn't look right.
> For example, the average Angus
> sire has a 1.6 pound lighter birth
> weight, 13.1 pound heavier
> yearling weight, and 12.7 more
> pounds of milk than the average
> Red Angus sire. This surprised me
> since Red Angus, as a breed, has
> REQUIRED performance testing since
> the inception of their breed
> registry.

> Several of the other breed
> comparisons also look incorrect.
> For example the average Angus
> sires milk EPD is 2.2 pounds
> heavier than the average
> Simmentals. I DON'T BELIEVE THIS.

> I found on the Gelbvieh website
> that the American Gelbvieh Assn.
> (AGA) was concerned with this data
> also. As they pointed out, the
> Across Breed EPDs, which were
> developed by the Meat Animal
> Research Center (MARC) were
> developed based on "very
> small sample sizes at a single
> location." Consequently, the
> AGA has developed their own Across
> Breed EPDs for comparing Gelbvieh
> to Angus and Red Angus which look
> much more in line.

> Does anyone else have any thoughts
> on the MARC Across Breed EPD
> accuracies?
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> I don't put a lot of faith into
> the across breed EPDs, mainly
> because I don't think most breeds
> have reliable EPDs and that makes
> this entire EPD set unreliable. If
> you pay attention to accuracy on
> Angus EPDs, they are quite
> reliable. Across breed EPDs is
> another tool to help breeders
> decide what bull (mainly) will
> work best in their program. As for
> as milking, you might be surprised
> at how some Angus milk. In my part
> of the country, I have to look for
> AI bulls with lower milk EPDs. In
> another ongoing study, MARC has
> discovered that Angus ribeyes are
> comparable with Continental
> ribeyes, while they have
> maintained their marbling ability.
> The other British breeds being
> evaluated, Hereford and Red Angus,
> have not imporved their ribeye to
> the same point. Continental breeds
> have lowered their birthweights,
> but also their weaning and
> yearling weights and have not
> improved their marbling ability.

> BTW, is the Gelbvieh article you
> referred to online? I'd like to
> read it. Thanks....

Yea, the article can be found on the American Gelbvieh Association website at:

<A HREF="http://www.gelbvieh.org/pdf/siresumfwd2003.pdf" TARGET="_blank">http://www.gelbvieh.org/pdf/siresumfwd2003.pdf</A>
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Thanks, I'll go look at the article. Are you a Gelbvieh breeder? Maybe you can help me out. I recently saw a report that the Gelbvieh Association had discovered through their marketing alliance that carcass quality was equally as important as growth to the producer's bottom line. Fertility was still the most important trait, of course, but because more and more cattle are being sold on a grid, carcass quality (size, YG and QG) were as important as growth. Have you seen that in any Gelbvieh literature? Thanks...

> Yea, the article can be found on
> the American Gelbvieh Association
> website at:

>
> <A HREF="http://www.gelbvieh.org/pdf/siresumfwd2003.pdf" TARGET="_blank">http://www.gelbvieh.org/pdf/siresumfwd2003.pdf</A>
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> Thanks, I'll go look at the
> article. Are you a Gelbvieh
> breeder? Maybe you can help me
> out. I recently saw a report that
> the Gelbvieh Association had
> discovered through their marketing
> alliance that carcass quality was
> equally as important as growth to
> the producer's bottom line.
> Fertility was still the most
> important trait, of course, but
> because more and more cattle are
> being sold on a grid, carcass
> quality (size, YG and QG) were as
> important as growth. Have you seen
> that in any Gelbvieh literature?
> Thanks...

I don't recall the AGA ever promoting that carcass composition was as important to the bottom line as growth. As a matter of fact I remember a few years ago that the AGA had compared the top 25% most profitable carcasses to the bottom 25% in the Gelbvieh Alliance grid (which includes all breeds of cattle) and found that there was around a $40/head difference on average.

They also looked at the top 25% of most profitable cattle in the feedlot and compared them to the bottom 25%. The average difference between these two groups was approximately $80.

Finally the AGA looked at data from Cattle Fax (I think) and evaluated the top 25% most profitable cow herds to the 25% least profitable herds and found an average differance of around $170.

So the AGA concluded that when selecting for traits in your breeding stock, growth traits were twice as important as carcass traits, and cow herd traits (i.e. fertility, stayability, etc.) were twice as important as growth traits.

Now, that has probably been 5 years ago since they came out with this originally, so I'm not sure if the numbers are still accurate.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Rancher,

I did not bvelieve the accross EPD table either. As you point out it does stand the simple comparision tests. So I called the author Larry Cundiff at MARC. The data is biased as I suspected. The numbers are based on data collected aty MARC from the top 50 bulls for registrations in each given year for each breed since the early 1970's. What this means is that this table is more a representation of where the breeder aspire their animals to be performance wise not actually where they are at. The angus breeders emphasized performance above all else and breeds like the charolais and simmental emphasized traits like calving ease in AI bull selection, hence they way the results look in the table. Larry agrees with this analysis. If you have any questions I suggest calling Larry up. He is a very nice guy and easy to talk to about breeding programs. Lastly, a good performance recording system should include data from random matings on commerical cows. this does two things. It lets each bull have an equal opputunity to show his genetic potential and how well they perform in a comerical environment; the whole point of perforance data in the first place.

Mark
> In an attempt to compare apples to
> apples in relation to different
> beef breeds, I took the most
> recent breed average EPDs and
> adjusted them based on the 2003
> Across Breed EPD adjustments.

> I compared Angus, Red Angus,
> Hereford, Limousin, Simmental,
> Charolais, and Gelbvieh since
> these are the most popular breeds
> in my area of the northern corn
> belt.

> When I evaluated the adjusted
> numbers they didn't look right.
> For example, the average Angus
> sire has a 1.6 pound lighter birth
> weight, 13.1 pound heavier
> yearling weight, and 12.7 more
> pounds of milk than the average
> Red Angus sire. This surprised me
> since Red Angus, as a breed, has
> REQUIRED performance testing since
> the inception of their breed
> registry.

> Several of the other breed
> comparisons also look incorrect.
> For example the average Angus
> sires milk EPD is 2.2 pounds
> heavier than the average
> Simmentals. I DON'T BELIEVE THIS.

> I found on the Gelbvieh website
> that the American Gelbvieh Assn.
> (AGA) was concerned with this data
> also. As they pointed out, the
> Across Breed EPDs, which were
> developed by the Meat Animal
> Research Center (MARC) were
> developed based on "very
> small sample sizes at a single
> location." Consequently, the
> AGA has developed their own Across
> Breed EPDs for comparing Gelbvieh
> to Angus and Red Angus which look
> much more in line.

> Does anyone else have any thoughts
> on the MARC Across Breed EPD
> accuracies?



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