Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



24th Range Beef Cow Symposium, Nov. 17-19, 2015, Loveland, Colo.


Copyright 2015 M. L. Spangler.


Sire selection should focus on that which is economical. This requires a true accounting of the traits that generate revenue or incur a cost within a specific beef cattle enterprise. Once the drivers of profit have been identified, sire selection should focus on the suite of traits that impact profitability. The use of bio-economic selection indices can dramatically reduce the complexity of multiple trait selection and aid in sire selection towards increased profitability. It is critical to use selection indices that match the intended production system. Using a terminal index in an enterprise that retains replacement heifers would not be advisable. Although there have been previous attempts to deliver decision support tools to the beef industry, there is renewed interest in generating web-based software to aid in sire selection that contemplates across-breed EPD, heterosis, and the economic drivers of a particular enterprise. Producers that have more detailed knowledge of economic costs and returns will benefit more from such a tool.