Cow Herd DNA Roundup

 CHR is a research project with GeneSeek

60% OFF Genomic Testing (50K) On Females For A Limited Time Only.  A Win For Breeders and A Win For the Breed!

In this time of rapid technological advancement, animal breeding is entering a new era. As demonstrated in the pig and dairy industries, gathering and incorporating vast amounts of genomic data into the genetic evaluation accelerates progress. Holsteins, for example, have genotyped 1.6 million cattle and subsequently doubled their genetic improvement rate.

Female genotypes are rare and valuable, especially to predict maternal traits such as stayability and maternal calving ease. Furthermore, genotyping entire herds improves genomic evaluations by reducing bias created when only the best cattle are genotyped. Therefore, gathering massive amounts of genotypes on entire cow herds will significantly improve the genomic predictions and rate of genetic progress.

Considering these facts, the ASA Board of Trustees passed an innovative resolution to invest in the future of genomic technology for ASA members. In August, the Board of Trustees voted to offer a $20 genomic profile (50K including parentage) to members who test their entire cow herd (a $30 savings). Wait, there’s more! Breeders who submit cow weights with either body conditions scores or hip heights receive an additional $5 off per test — an amazing price of $15/sample for something breeders currently pay $50 per test for. This offer is for a limited time only — samples must be submitted to ASA by December 15, 2018. Don’t wait until next December 2018 to join this movement, there is a capped budget for this project so breeders need to submit samples early to ensure these discounts.

Benefits to participating members:

1. Genomic testing is most valuable in cattle with low accuracy EPDs. Typically, all cows have low accuracy EPDs because they don’t have enough calves in a lifetime to gain enough records to reach moderate or high accuracy EPDs. Therefore, adding genomic results to EPDs of the cow herd will markedly improve the accuracy of their EPDs allowing breeders to make better decisions.

2. At $20, if someone has 100 cows, they can test the entire herd for $2,000. Furthermore, if they submit cow weights, they would only pay $1,500. Based upon ASA’s current fee structure, the same allotment of funds would only be enough to GE-EPD 30-40 head and the whole herd would not benefit from the testing.

3. Parentage included — current error in parentage is estimated at 7%. Large scale testing will reveal and help correct errors in the pedigrees resulting in better EPD predictions.

4. Parentage markers will be in the database making future parentage testing easier.

5. In the future, maintaining a fully tested herd will only require testing yearling heifers.

As this is part of research and development..... not a definite timeline for reporting results.  "Breeders will be notified when DNA samples from their herd have been processed by the ASA and sent to the laboratory to begin DNA testing

6. Additional trait testing optional in conjunction with the CHR.

Benefits to the ASA and all members:

1. Harnesses the membership’s collective strength to bargain a better price with DNA companies.

2. Feeds large amounts of genotypes into BOLT and single step genetic evaluation, which improves the predictive power of our genetic evaluation.

3. Continues development of new and better DNA markers for even more accurate future tests.


Rules and restrictions:

• $20/test for ASA members who submit DNA on their entire cow herd (with a 10% window).

• $15/test if members also electronically submit mature cow weights and either body condition scores or hip heights on the herd. There is a finite budget for the reduced price so act fast.

• The above prices are a one-time opportunity. Samples must be received at the ASA by December 15, 2018 to qualify.

• Cows must be recorded in the ASA database.

• As this is part of research and development, the timeline for results is uncertain. Breeders enrolled in this program acknowledge there is not a definite timeline for reporting results.

• Breeders will be billed after results are completed.

• Donor cows and bulls do not qualify for this project.

• Breeders may submit DNA on heifers but they must recognize the uncertain timeline for results. If you are working your cattle this fall, consider joining the Cow Herd DNA Roundup. Jump on board and be a part of this maternal revolution. Contact Leoma Wells or Jackie Atkins for more information:

406-587-4531 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..