Date of this Version
24th Range Beef Symposium, Nov. 17-19, 2015, Loveland, Colo.
Genomic predictions for commercial cattle can be used to select replacement heifers, design mating strategies, and market calves. Presently, two companies (Igenity and Zoetis) offer genomic tests for commercial cattle. Like expected progeny differences (EPDs) on young bulls, these genomic tests do not perfectly predict genetic merit. However, these tests will be useful for identifying genetically superior and inferior animals for the traits tested. Some tests are useful only for predominantly Black Angus (≥ 75%) cattle, while other tests can be used on all Bos taurus beef breeds and crossbreds. Further, some tests are designed specifically for producers who are retaining ownership or who are marketing their calves to feeder calf certification programs. Producers should choose a genomic test that includes traits that are economically relevant to their operation.