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DNA profiling helps gather animal trait information

Agriculture.com Staff 07/19/2007 @ 7:41am

Calf sorting at weaning puts a producer's herd knowledge to the test and profit potential on the line.

Now, through DNA profiling, producers can access inside information that will help them make the best selection, management and marketing decisions for their operation. Deciding which heifers to keep as replacements and which calves to retain for feeding can have significant effects on profitability.

Knowing the genetic potential of each calf adds confidence to these important decisions, says Dr. Kevin DeHaan, Technical Services Director for IGENITY.

"Weaning is a convenient time to gather a DNA sample for profiling, since calves are already being processed," DeHaan says. "Plus, once you get the results, you can put the information right to use to help with weaning-time decisions."

In the past, valuable traits such as ribeye area, marbling and tenderness have been difficult, if not impossible, to measure before slaughter, Dr. DeHaan says. Now with DNA profiling, producers can find this information early in an animal's life.

The comprehensive IGENITY profile, for example, provides analyses for traits like multisire parentage, carcass composition, coat color; breed-specific horned/polled; and more.

"DNA profiling adds datapoints to help producers make better-informed and confident decisions," DeHaan says.

Calf sorting at weaning puts a producer's herd knowledge to the test and profit potential on the line.

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