Currently, bull buyers have a plethora of information from which to make selection decisions. Open up a sale or semen catalog and you’ll be quickly overwhelmed with actual and adjusted measurements, ratios, EPDs, economic index values, and perhaps now the results of DNA marker tests. EPDs are the integration of pedigree, animal, and eventually progeny information. So, in the previous list, EPDs already account for actual and adjusted records and ratios, but in general do not include the results of DNA marker tests.
There is one exception. The American Angus Association does so for carcass traits using only an Angus specific panel through one company at present. The current issue is how to capitalize on this potentially useful information, and the logical method is to integrate it into EPD estimations.
The benefits of the inclusion of molecular scores into EPD calculations include higher accuracy values (particularly for younger animals) and a decrease in generation interval leading to an increased rate of genetic change. Another key benefit is easing the current confusion that surrounds the process of bull selection due to an information overload.
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