Denver, Colo., (Sept. 7, 2010) Expected progeny differences (EPDs) from the fall 2010 International Limousin Genetic Evaluation now are available through various features of the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF) web site (www.nalf.org). The EPDs represent more than 2 million pedigree and performance records for Limousin-based cattle in the United States and Canada. Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) and Colorado State University (CSU) calculated the Limousin breed's EPDs. AGI conducted analysis for EPD accuracies for birth, weaning and yearling weights; milking ability; and scrotal circumference. CSU provided the analysis for reproductive traits, docility and carcass traits.
"We are seeing an excellent genetic trend for Limousin and Lim-Flex ® cattle," said Bob Hough, Ph.D., executive vice president for NALF. "Working with CSU, Limousin led the beef industry developing the first docility EPD in 1995. Since then, the average Limousin docility EPD has risen from 5 to 18."
Since AGI conducted NALF's evaluation, using improved hereditary ties to Angus seedstock, genetic predictions for Lim-Flex ® animals are the most timely and reliable of any for Angus-influenced hybrid seedstock.
"Commercial producers are utilizing the power of heterosis," Hough added. "Over the past 40 plus years in North America, Limousin cattle have drastically improved to meet the demand. The accuracy that we have witnessed through AGI for Lim-Flex ® has been tremendous, and so has the purebred and fullblood Limousin animals."
"No other multibreed genetic evaluation in the world more thoroughly incorporates performance information from two populations of animals as does AGI's work for NALF," he said.
In addition to EPDs for 13 economically relevant traits, NALF's evaluation included its Mainstream Terminal Index ($MTI), which simplifies mating decisions by ranking animals for expected net economic merit through simultaneous consideration of many traits.
"$MTI is determined by economic values and genetics associated with post-weaning growth, yield grand and quality grade. It gives an estimate of how future progeny are expected to perform, on average, compared to other sires in the Limousin herdbook when mated to black baldy cows in similar environments," explained Hough.
"The EPDs and index predict genetic rankings among animals, and they are the most accurate predictors of genetic merit," he said. "Our semiannual evaluations provide Limousin breeders and their commercial customers with helpful selection tools for genetic improvement."
Tools on the NALF Web sitethat interface with the genetic evaluation include the Sire Selector and pedigree/EPD lookup. The site's "Genetic Evaluation" section includes the latest EPD statistics, percentiles and trends leaders.