Cow Herd DNA Roundup (CHR)

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Cow Herd DNA Roundup

 CHR is a research project with GeneSeek

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.

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 improve the genomic predictions and rate of genetic progress.

Considering these facts, the ASA developed the Cow Herd Roundup (CHR), a program to provide inexpensive genotyping to maintain whole herds DNA tested.  Tests cost $25 for a genomic profile (50K including parentage) if the entire cow herd is genotyped (a $25 savings). Breeders who submit cow weights with either body conditions scores or hip heights receive an additional $5 off per test — an amazing price of $20/sample for something breeders currently pay $50 per test for. This offer is only available up to 50,000 samples so don’t delay.

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 be like adding a lifetime of calf records to her information.  

The table below shows how many progeny records it takes for an animal without genomics to have the same BIF accuracy as an animal with genomics but no progeny.  In other words, EPD on a genotyped 1-month-old calf will be as accurate as an animal with birth weights on 21 calves, weaning weights on 22 calves, etc.  The carcass traits represent actual carcass records, not ultrasound records.   You may notice the maternal calving ease gets the least boost from genomics. This is due in part to such few females being genotyped.





































It is important to note, continued collection of phenotypic records remains a vital part of genetic predictions.  DNA testing will never replace the need to record and submit phenotypes.

  1. 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.
  2. Parentage markers will be in the database making future parentage testing easier.
  3. 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.  

     5. Additional trait testing available in conjunction with the CHR.

Rules and restrictions:

  • $25/test for ASA members who submit DNA on their entire cow herd (with a 10% window).
  • $20/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. The ASA has a finite volume of 50,000 samples so don’t delay.
  • Cows must be recorded in the ASA database and cows should have EPDs in order for the test to be beneficial to the member.
  • 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.  Yearling heifers do not qualify for the $5 rebate.

Jump on board and be a part of this maternal revolution. 406-587-4531  406-587-4531 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



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