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Bull Buying Made Easier

SDSU specialists develop calculator to cover EDPs between breeds.

A South Dakota State University-developed calculator may help bull buyers and sellers convert Expected Progeny Differences between breeds.

This is according to SDSU Extension Livestock Educator Tyler Melroe, who developed the calculator. "Published EPDs only can be compared within the same breed," said Melroe. "Evaluating EPDs from animals of different breeds will not provide an appropriate comparison."

To help producers compare EPDs across breeds, Melroe developed a calculator to assist in figuring adjusted EPDs. These adjustments are based on comparative data of progeny of sires from different breeds collected by scientists at U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb.

"To use the calculator, producers only need to know the individual's breed and current EPDs," Melroe said. "This across-breed conversion is available for birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight, milk, marbling, rib fat, and ribeye area."

Annually, MARC scientists publish the across-breed adjustments, and a 2007 Journal of Animal Science article included carcass EPDs in the analysis.

"While MARC has made available adjustments from 16 breeds, this calculator focuses on nine breeds most commonly raised in the Upper Midwest," Melroe says.

For a copy of the calculator email Melroe at or call (605) 448-5171.

Source: SDSU AgBio Communications

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