The generation of breeding goals can help producers to address on-farm challenges they may be facing, while also creating opportunities to strengthen productivity and profitability in their herds.
Therefore, it’s crucial for producers to understand how Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) can align with their breeding goals when choosing the right sire to fit their business.
Selecting sires that carry the right traits for a particular operation can lead to increased fertility, access to new markets, and faster turn-off in a herd, among many other profit-driving improvements.
MLA has recently released a new suite of videos on its Genetics hub that explain the different EBVs available and the potential benefits these can have on a herd’s performance.
The table below outlines some of the on-farm challenges, types of breeding goals and EBV selection traits available to producers through MLA’s BREEDPLAN database, and explains how these traits align to breeding objectives.
The on-farm business challenges or opportunities
|The type of breeding goals|
Available EBV selection traits
|Link to video|
Fertility and calving ease traits
Improving reproductive performance of the cow herd
|Getting cows in calf every year||Reducing days to calving||Days to calving|
|Produce females that are pubertal as yearlings|
Reduce days to calving
Increase scrotal circumference in males
Days to calving
|Dystocia in first calving heifers||Increase calving ease|
Calving ease direct (terminal sire)
Calving ease of daughters (self- replacing herd)
Carcase and eating quality traits help improve the yield and quality of the carcases produced
|Carcases are too lean at slaughter||Increase fatness|
|Carcases are out of spec for weight||Increase carcase weight and muscling|
Eye muscle area
Retail beef yield
|Meeting consumer expectations||Improve MSA index|
Weight traits can be used to improve growth and control mature cow weight
Turning steers off earlier
Improve weight for age
Mature cows are too big
Maintain mature cow size
Mature cow weight