Shorthorn genetics can now be selected via three new avenues of profitability. Association staff worked with USDA to formulate $ Value Indexes over the past year. The areas of emphasis were chosen based on the demands of the commercial producer: calving ease, profit on the rail, and cow production longevity. Percentile ranks within the breed are also displayed to the right of each index as an additional assessment of the individual. Complete definitions of the indexes are available on the Performance page of www.shorthorn.org.
$ CEZ – $ Calving Ease assumes a bull will only be mated to heifers, not cows. The potential profitability of the sire is measured by the incidence of live calves at birth, but the index is also a good measure of Shorthorn females’ ability to produce calving ease specialists.
$F – $Feedlot places strong emphasis on growth and carcass traits. This multi-trait index assumes the sire will be mated to a mix of heifers and cows and attempts to measure profitability when progeny are sold on the fed market.
$BMI – $ British Maternal Index, as the name implies, attempts to measure a bull’s potential profitability when complimenting the British cow base (Angus, Red Angus, Hereford, etc.). Shorthorn females can likewise be gauged at adding value to British or British-composite bulls of other breeds. A balance of growth and carcass traits is desired with a strong maternal component aimed at optimum reproductive efficiency and cow longevity.
Patrick Wall, Director of Genetic Improvement for the American Shorthorn
Association (ASA) says the breed is working hard to expand its role within the beef cattle industry. He explained, "These indexes are a solid step in the right direction. They give the commercial industry solid multi-trait tools that highlight the breed as a strong source for maternal heterosis and feedlot profitability."
According to the USDA Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) across-breed EPD adjustments, Shorthorns rank among the top breeds for Milk, Marbling, and Meat (via Fat & REA EPD). For more information about Shorthorn genetics, visit the ASA website at www.shorthorn.org, or contact a Field Representative.
The mission of the ASA is to provide quality service and support to its members by promoting the value of Shorthorn cattle in all aspects of the beef industry, while maintaining the integrity of the herd book and performance database. The ASA is headquartered inOmaha, Neb., and was founded in 1872 with herd book records going back to 1822. As one of the oldest American breed associations, the ASA provides services for more than 6,000 junior and senior members who register nearly 15,000 cattle annually. The American Junior Shorthorn Association promotes
personal development through youth activities and educational events. The AJSA is dedicated to the betterment of its members, promotes valuable skills, and fosters friendships that will last a lifetime. To learn more, contact the ASA office or visit www.shorthorn.org or www.juniorshorthorn.com.