Estimating the value of carcass DNA and performance EPD’S for Gelbvieh bulls at auction



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Kansas State University


For the industry to be able to produce a higher performing and consistent quality product, evaluation of performance and information needs to be collected and available for producers to make more informed beef cattle production management decisions. In recent history, the cattle industry has taken on the complex job of maintaining and recording performance records through programs and efforts such as breed association data bases, and herd health data bases. The constant evaluation of performance and genetic records has supplied producers with data resulting in performance, maternal and carcass statistical records such as Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs). Additionally, developing technology is helping the industry through selection and decision tools such as Carcass DNA marker identification. This study evaluates how the selection tools of EPDs and DNA affect the value of Gelbvieh / Balancer bulls at auction. Data collected for this study is from various Gelbvieh / Balancer bull sales throughout Nebraska in the spring of 2008. Variables evaluated in the study were data and information provided to potential buyers before the auctions to be able to observe how this information affected the value of the purchased bull for each buyer. Variables evaluated were Igenity Profile Carcass DNA values of Ribeye Area, Marbling, and Tenderness. Additionally, Performance EPDs of Calving Ease Direct, Birth Weight, Weaning Weight, Yearling Weight, Ribeye Area, and Marbling were evaluated. The only actual measurement observed was Scrotal Circumference. The hedonic models developed for this study suggest that the selected bull data provided to potential buyers before sale are not the only significant determinants affecting price. Statistical measurements and technologies developing the industry are having a profound and positive effect on production and as selection tools however, are not the only potential variables affecting the value of a sire at auction. Other possible variables effecting auction value can also include evaluation of phenotype, pedigree, and buyer benefits. The data and variables evaluated in the study should still be used as valuable additions to other selection tools and observations when selecting a future beef sire.



Bull value, DNA, EPD, Gelbvieh

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Master of Agribusiness


Department of Agricultural Economics

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Ted C. Schroeder