Brangus Specific

New DNA Panel Makes Heifer Sorting Easier

Victoria G. Myers , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Three indexes are now available to help commercial Brangus producers select their best replacement females. (Image courtesy IBBA)

Tommy Perkins believes a new tenderness panel for commercial Brangus herds will hit a home run with producers. It's just one option among new DNA panels available now, and expected to play a major role in future replacement female selection.

"This will be incredibly important information that will impact production system economics, along with the producers' ability to represent their steers in the feeder calf market," he said.

Perkins is executive vice president of the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA). He noted the Igenity Brangus profiler will provide birth, growth and carcass trait EPDs. Taurus and Indicus parentage markers will be used for sire identification. Traits will be provided as easy-to-use 1 to 10 scores that can predict which characteristics profiled heifers will pass on to offspring.

Brangus-specific indexes will help producers use selection pressure to meet individual management goals. Indexes include: Maternal (birth weight, calving ease direct, calving ease maternal, scrotal circumference); Performance (weaning weight, yearling weight, milk); Carcass (fat, tenderness, intramascular fat, ribeye area) and Parentage (Taurus/Indicus markers).

Producers can order tests from IBBA and send samples back to the association, which will then use Neogen's GeneSeek for profiling.

"Our goal is to give commercial producers information they can use to measure and select their future brood cows and Brangus steers. We also aim to further define our EPDs for fertility, performance and carcass merit for purebred Brangus breeders by accelerating the use of genomics and phenotypic data collection by commercial cattleman using the Igenity Brangus profiler product," Perkins said.

Test cost is $25 through IBBA. Samples accepted include tissue (TSUs), blood and hair. For more information go to: www.gobrangus.com or call 210-696-8231.

(CC/AG)