Thursday, May 23, 2013

You Would be Crazy Not to Test!


I am in the process of purchasing a new house. In this process I am collecting as much information as possible to make an informed decision and reduce my risk. I've had the home inspected, which included looking at the roof, exterior, basement, crawl space, kitchen, bathrooms, electrical, heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and vegetation. I've also paid for a radon inspection and a pest inspection. I've done all of this because this is a large investment and I want to avoid future headaches.

This winter and spring we have seen several bulls in various breeds sell for prices with six figures. Whenever I look at these bulls on the respective breed association websites, I am shocked that most of these bulls have parent average EPDs. These bulls have no production, progeny, or genomic information. Why does this surprise me?

If we think back a few years, we can identify a bull that sold for six figures at a national sale. At the time this bull was marketed, his parent average EPDs put him in the top 25% of his breed for an important trait. But, several calf crops later and a much more reliable estimate of his EPDs, this bull is now in the bottom 25% for that important trait. Genomic selection alleviates this problem!

Genomic selection and genomic-enhanced EPDs provide the same amount of information as about 10 to 20 progeny. The buyers of these six figure bulls could have collected much more data and significantly reduced their risk of making a poor purchasing decision. They could have demanded that the bull be tested with a genomic panel prior to the purchase. If the seller is getting six figures for a bull, I'm sure he can scrape up $85 for a genomic test.

When we purchase a house, we are making a decision that will affect us for years to come. When we purchase a bull, we are making a decision that will affect our herds for years to come. By purchasing bulls with genomic-enhanced EPDs buyers are getting a clearer picture of what they are actually purchasing. In my opinion, you would be crazy not to test!

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