By Lane Giess, Director of Commercial & Nontraditional Data Program |
Of all the performance programs offered to the American Simmental Association (ASA) membership, the Carcass Merit Program (CMP) is the hallmark program for unbiased, commercial data collection. Certainly, its primary mission is to gather rare carcass data on the progeny of young bulls, but the CMP also brings in mature cow records and replacement female data as well as novel trait data such as feed intake. The test has seen notable improvements over the years such as new commercial herds signing on, partnering with feedlots to get feed intake data on some of the calves, and adding genotyping tests to all of the terminal progeny. These improvements provide enhanced value back to the owners of the CMP bulls and any breeder who uses those genetics in their breeding program.
At its core, the CMP is designed to work with and incentivize commercial herds to use Simmental genetics and provide a basis for data collection and research. Understandably, the cooperating herds direct their program and are given the driver’s seat for breeding decisions. A list of nominated sires is compiled for each participant and they select the bulls they would like to use in their breeding program. Multiple bulls are placed to ensure proper statistical design.
The class of 2017 had 38 bulls sampled in 9 herds. A total of 3,342 calf records were reported and of those, 565 carcass records were reported.
This year, a couple of promising enhancements were made. All of the sires represented in this class of bulls will have a research Low-Pass Sequence panel performed. This test is the most robust research panel as it imputes to the full genome rather than relying on selected markers. Since the CMP bulls are high-use animals, this test is incredibly important for advancements in marker discovery.
The CMP continues to be a driving force for quality data collection and analysis of the industry’s top young Simmental sires. Anyone interested in participating can learn more at www.simmental.org