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237 Stud News

Category Archives: General

Angus EPD Updates 9-11-20

The American Angus Association released the results of the Fall 2020 National Cattle Evaluation on 5-29-20 and this spreadsheet presents the weekly updated data as of 9-11-20.

May 29, 2020 marked the official release of the $Combined value index that now appears on an AAA pedigree and registration certificate and the introduction of a NEW PAP score EPD where the smaller the EPD value is more desirable.

Use the tabs of the linked spreadsheet to find ORIgen trait leaders for specific traits you are seeking for your program.  Click the link below to download the spreadsheet and study the sorts of the Angus bulls available from ORIgen that include 18 NEW Angus bulls that have joined the ORIgen marketing system since the 2020 ORIgen Sire Directory was released.

This spreadsheet includes the new indexes called $AxH and $AxJ and they offer a wider range of values than some of the existing indexes with the highest values in the +200 range and some bulls with negative values. These indexes will penalize below breed average CED and animals that lack a threshold of RE EPD or have a poor relationship between RE EPD and YH EPD.

For breeding Holstein cows, the intent is to identify moderate frame size calving ease bulls with as much growth and rib eye area as possible.  This spreadsheet has 6 ORIgen sires with top 1% $AxH index values and 33 with top 5% values.

For Jersey cows, the penalty for too much frame size is not included in the prediction with a quest for all the growth and muscle within the calving ease parameters.  This spreadsheet has 4 ORIgen sires with top 1% AxJ index values and 32 with top 5% values.

Correlation of $AxH to $B is estimated to be .67 and to $AxJ it is estimated at .72.

While AAA designed the indexes to identify bulls that they think dairymen should buy for breeding Holstein or Jersey cows, they likely will have their greatest impact in educating seedstock producers regarding the combination of EPD data that gives them the greatest opportunity to sell bulls into this emerging market that has huge upside potential when we think of the potential of breeding 5 to 6 million dairy cows in the US alone that usually take 2.5 services per conception.

The addition of these indexes to the ORIgen weekly spreadsheet update should help our customers use them, if they so desire, to target production for a specific market like breeding dairy cows to beef bulls to improve the contribution of those progeny to the beef supply.

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ASA EPD Updates 8-11-20

AGR and ORIgen sires ranking in the ASA database using IGS BOLT evaluation.

Updates to IGS Growth Trait Predictions

By the International Genetic Solutions Science Team      |   

The genetic evaluation is constantly evolving with updates to models as new science is discovered and new technologies are available. One area under recent scrutiny is the prediction of growth traits (birth, weaning, and yearling weights, and milk). The International Genetic Solutions (IGS) Genetic Evaluation Science Team is implementing the following five areas of improvement for the prediction of growth traits.

1. A new definition of contemporary groups based on the age of the dam.

Regardless of how users designate contemporary groups (CG), all calves born from first-calf dams will be placed into a separate CG from calves out of mature cows. Given the vast majority of producers actually manage this age group separately, it is reasonable to define their calves as their own CG. Handling these as separate CG will reduce the environmental noise caused by different management strategies and biological constraints for this age group.

2. Milk modeling updates.

The magnitude, and even direction, of the correlation between weaning weight direct and milk, has been long debated in scientific circles. In fact, there is a wide range of estimates that exist in the scientific literature. Given that, the science team developed a model that assumes milk and weaning weight direct are independent (i.e., genetic correlation of 0). In addition, with some of the other proposed updates, it was discovered that the evaluation solved more effectively when genomics were removed for Milk EPDs. In light of this discovery, the IGS Milk EPD will not use genomic information for the time being.

3. Different variances for different sexes.

Males usually have a higher growth potential than females simply due to gender. As a consequence, the variation associated with their weights also tends to
be greater. This difference in the amount of variation between the sexes are set to a male scale in the up-dated growth trait predictions.

4. New DNA Marker subset.

As the number of genotyped animals has increased, so has our ability to estimate marker effects and identify subsets that are more predictive. Relative to growth traits, a new (and larger) subset of markers has been identified to add more accuracy to EPD.

5. Accounting for different birth weight collection methods.

When we began looking into growth trait data, we discovered that not all birth weights followed expected amounts of variation. Some of the examples of reduced variation included weights rounded to the nearest 5 pounds, reduced variation when hoof tapes were used, and likely-fabricated data with little to no variation. Some of these data are useful, but they are clearly on a different scale and need to be treated appropriately. Dr. Bruce Golden developed a way to use machine learning to recognize the unique features of each class of birth weight observation and predict how it was obtained. By accounting for the various categories, the genetic evaluation is still able to use submitted records that fall out of biological expectations for most scenarios, while more accurately accounting for different practices of collecting the weights.

Results of Updates to Growth Model

With these proposed changes, a considerable amount of work went into testing if the new models improved growth trait predictions. One of the most common procedures for evaluating updates to EPD systems is to exclude a certain portion of the phenotypes available, run the evaluation, and compare the correlation of the EPD from two systems to the phenotypes that were removed from the evaluation (higher correlation is better). For these updates, this procedure was used where all animals born after 2018 were excluded from the evaluation system and then comparisons between the current growth trait EPDs and the updated EPDs were made to this phenotypic information. The results for each of the analyses are presented in the following table.

Pearson correlation between parental average EPDs and excluded phenotypes from animals in the IGS genetic evaluation that were born in 2018 or later. 

The results in the table above show the evaluation updates had higher correlations to phenotypes than the previous growth trait models. This equates to more precise EPDs for Birth, Weaning, and Yearling Weight. An additional trait that is evaluated with the growth analysis is the Milk EPD. A Milk EPD represents the genetic difference in calf weaning weight based on the maternal environment provided by the dam. Due to the nature of this trait being the maternal component of weaning weight, a different validation strategy must be used to evaluate the updated predictions. To evaluate the updated Milk predictions an expected weaning weight for the excluded animals was formed using the following equation:

Predicted Weaning Weight = Calf WW EBV + Dam’s Milk EBV


This predicted weaning weight was then correlated with the excluded weaning weight phenotypes. Again, the updated predictions of Milk had higher correlations compared to the previous Milk EPDs (0.42 vs. 0.39, respectively).

These results show that the updated predictions more precisely predict the weaning weight of an animal than the currently published evaluation. Breeders may notice the reranking of animals with the release of the growth trait updates. While the change may be unsettling, the end results by every measure have shown an improvement in the precision of the growth trait predictions. 

Spreadsheet includes ONLY active marketing sires available from AGR and ORIgen.

Study the ranking of ORIgen Angus sires in the ONLY across-breed EPD evaluation – you will LIKE how they stack up!

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ORIgen Angus Sires Fall 2020 NCE Young Sire Supplement

The Young Sire Supplement of the Fall 2020 National Cattle Evaluation lists 2,895 bulls born after January 1, 2016, that have at least 10 progeny weaning weights on AHIR and post a weaning accuracy of at least .30.

SydGen Merit 6553 records the Number 3 Marbling score EPD and has the Number 4 $Combined value index and $Grid value index and a top 10 $Maternal value index that are all the highest among ORIgen sires represented in this report along with recording a top 25 $Beef value index.

SydGen Evolution records the Number 6 $Beef value index among the 2,895 young sires and ranks among the top 15 for $Combined value index and has one of the top 25 values for Weaning Weight EPD, Yearling Weight EPD and $Feedlot value index.

Basin Deposit 6249 records the Number 8 Weaning Weight EPD value and a top 15 value for $Weaned calf value index, a top 20 $Combined valued index and top 25 values for $Maternal value index, $Grid value index, Marbling score EPD and Yearling Weight EPD.

Stevenson Easy Money records a top 10 Weaning Weight EPD, Yearling Weight EPD, $Weaned calf value index and $Feedlot value index.

JR Fast Forward records the Number 6 $Weaned calf value index with a top 20 value for $Combined value index and Weaning Weight EPD along with a top 25 values for $Maternal value index.

Curtin Rambunctious records the Number 2 $Weaned calf value index of the report and records one of the top 15 Weaning Weight EPD values and top 25 Yearling Weight EPD values.

EXAR Epic 6072B combines the Number 4 Yearling Weight EPD with the Number 10 Weaning Weight EPD for a top 15 $Feedlot value index and top 25 $Weaned calf value index.

EXAR Stallion records top 25 values for $Grid value index and Weaning Weight EPD and Basin Encore records one of the top 15 values for $Weaned calf value index.

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ORIgen Angus Sires in the Fall 2020 National Cattle Evaluation Main Report

From a total of 284,230 sires with progeny records reported as of Friday, May 22, 2020 in the American Angus Association data base, the Fall 2020 Sire Evaluation Report lists 2,391 sires with the following qualifications to be included in the Main Report:

  1. The sire must have at least 35 yearling progeny weights in proper contemporary groups on Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR).
  2. The sire must post a yearling accuracy value of at least .40.
  3. He must have had at least 5 calves recorded in the American Angus Association Herd Book since June 1, 2018.

Among the 2,391 sires in the Main Report of the Fall 2020 National Cattle Evaluation, there are 37 head that record one of the top 25 $Combined value indexes and the eight of those featured at ORIgen represent 22% of the elite proven sires! 

Led by the past ORIgen sire WAR Calvary B063 Z044 at Number 1, this now-deceased leader is joined by ORIgen sires SydGen Enhance, Bakers Northside 6007, Diablo Deluxe 1104, Rito 3S10 of 9Q15 Progress, SydGen Exceed 3223, FF Rito Righteous 6R41 and SydGen Blacksmith 4010.

There are 67 proven sires that record one of the top 25 $Beef value indexes and 16 of those are ORIgen marketing sires that represent 24% of the breed leaders!

The past ORIgen sire WAR Calvary B063 Z044 again leads the way at Number 1 and is joined by Bakers Northside 6007, SydGen Enhance, Rito 3S10 of 9Q15 Progress, Baldridge Alternative E125 SydGen Exceed 3223, Diablo Deluxe 1104, SydGen Blacksmith 4010, SydGen FATE 2800, MW DNAmite, FF Rito Righteous 6R41, Stevenson Big League and EXAR Monumental 6056B.

Connealy Cool 39L ranks Number 1 for percent Heifer Pregnancy EPD and Number 2 for $Maternal calf value index.

Crouch Silverado, another long-term ORIgen featured sire, records the Number 1 $Weaned calf value index with 17 other ORIgen sires joining him among the sires with top 25 $W values.

Rito 3S10 of 9Q15 Progress ranks Number 1 for both $G and Marbling score EPD and a daughter of Rito 3S10 is the Number 2 for $B index when compared to 300,262 active dams.

The past ORIgen sire PA Valor 201 ranks Number 1 for RE EPD where he is joined among the proven leaders by FF Rito Righteous 6R41. 

Stevenson Big League records the Number 1 Weaning Weight EPD of the 2,391 proven sires and the Number 3 Yearling Weight EPD to rank among the top 10 for $F index where he is joined by Bakers Northside 6007.

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ORIgen Angus Sires Genomic Percentiles 5-29-20 – Fall 2020 NCE

Angus genomic percentiles are only updated twice each year and not on a weekly basis like genomic-enhanced EPD values. These percentiles will be valid until the release of the Spring 2021 NCE by the American Angus Association.

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