Understand and Use the Information in a Bull Sale Catalog or Sire Summary
There is a plethora of information available today to help producers make selection decisions when choosing the next sire for their cow herd. This includes an individual's actual weights, ratios, ultrasound measurements, genomic testing and EPDs. There is so much information that it can be candidly, overwhelming. For cow-calf or seed stock producers, understanding what this information means and how to effectively use it to make positive genetic change is critically important.
Dr. Matthew Spangler, Associate Professor, Animal Science, has written two NebGuides: EPD Basics and Definitions (PDF version, 704KB) and Economic Indexes for Beef Sire Selection, (PDF version, 656 KB) that explain these tools and what the numbers indicate for producers evaluating animals and making selection decisions.
Dr. Spangler is also part of a team that held a conference in June 2012 on the use of genomics in beef cattle that highlights the most current developments in this area. The following link will take you to presentations and handouts from this event. DNA Technology: Where we've been, where we are, and where we're headed