Expected progeny differences (EPDs) from the fall 2009 international Limousin genetic evaluation now are available through various features of the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF) Web site (www.nalf.org). Pedigree and performance records for more than 2 million Limousin-based cattle in the United States and Canada underpin the latest sire summary, which includes more than 1,800 bulls.
That is the third semiannual analysis for which Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) has calculated the Limousin breed’s EPDs and accuracies for birth, weaning and yearling weights; milking ability; and scrotal circumference.
“Working with AGI offers some distinct advantages, especially for breeders and commercial users of Lim-Flex® genetics,” said Lauren Hyde, Ph.D., director of performance programs for NALF. “The improved hereditary ties to Angus seedstock make genetic predictions for Lim-Flex animals the most timely and reliable of any for Angus-influenced hybrid seedstock.”
During its 40-year history in North America, upgrading of Limousin breed composition chiefly has occurred from Angus-based animals, Hyde added; therefore, more accurate accounting for past and present-day Angus genetics also enhances predictions for 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,” she said.
In addition to EPDs for 13 economically relevant traits, NALF’s evaluation includes its 4-year-old Mainstream Terminal Index ($MTI), which simplifies mating decisions by ranking animals for expected net economic merit through simultaneous consideration of many traits. $MTI combines information about calf survival, weaning and yearling weights, average daily gain (ADG) in the feedyard, feed intake, dressing percentage, yield grade, and marbling.
“The EPDs and index predict genetic rankings among animals, and they are the most accurate predictors of genetic merit,” Hyde explained. “Our genetic evaluation provides Limousin breeders and their commercial customers with helpful selection tools for genetic improvement.”
Tools on the NALF Web site that interface with the genetic evaluation include the Sire Selector, pedigree and EPD lookup, and the Limousin Exchange’s Bull Listing Service and Females for Sale components. The site’s “Genetic Evaluation” section includes the latest EPD statistics, percentiles and trends; sire-summary qualifications; general-sire listing; proven and young trait leaders; and downloadable sire summary.
The fall edition also includes the breed’s list of Focus Dams, which are females with proven reproductive performance and producing ability.