Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Published in J. Anim. Sci. 2007. 85:1369–1376.


Adjustment factors to allow comparison of EPD from several breed associations for birth, weaning, and yearling weights have been available for more than 10 yr. This paper describes steps to calculate adjustment factors for EPD for 4 carcass traits: marbling score, fat thickness, ribeye area, and retail product percentage. The required information is the same as for the weight traits: 1) breed of sire solutions based on measurements on progeny at the US Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) that have sires with breed association EPD, 2) mean EPD of sires weighted by number of progeny at USMARC (USMARC progeny not included in breed association EPD), and 3) mean EPD of nonparents from breed associations (defined as animals born 2 yr prior to calculation of EPD). Records at USMARC are adjusted to 100% heterozygosity because the purpose of the adjustment factors is to allow prediction of performance of progeny of sires mated to other breeds of dam. A critical step is to adjust breed of sire solutions, which are based on an earlier sample of sires, to the equivalent of a sample from a more recent nonparent group using the difference between mean EPD from information sources 2) and 3). The difference is multiplied by the coefficient of regression of USMARC progeny on EPD of their sires. With weight traits, these coefficients are not greatly different from unity. With the carcass traits, 2 sets of coefficients can be used depending on whether the EPD are based on carcass or ultrasound measurements. The regression coefficients also reflect differences in conditions for USMARC progeny (all steers) and factors associated with breed association EPD. Only for marbling score and ribeye area were any estimates of the regression coefficients near unity. For other traits, the coefficients ranged from 1.65 to 2.82. The solutions for breed of sire, differences in mean EPD, and regression coefficients are then used to calculate adjustment factors for EPD of 11 breeds including the arbitrary base breed, Angus.