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### Making the Web equal ProfitSurfing for Genetics

Dorian Garrick & Mark Enns

Department of Animal Sciences

Colorado State University

Surfing for Genetics

- Surfing for Convenience
- Surfing to Support Decisions based on your own Customized Computations

Convenience

- Finding a Particular Bull/Breed/Breeder
- Sort Orders
- Finding extreme bulls for some attribute
- Filters
- Finding bulls with particular combinations of attributes
- Up-to-date EPD and ACC information

Customized Computations

- Interpretation of Threshold Traits
- Interactions between ERTs
- Assessment of Nutritional Implications
- Assessment of Financial Implications
- Perhaps also Economic Implications
- Accounting for Risk
- Multibreed Evaluation & Crossbreeding

Interpretation of a Typical EPD

W W D = 50 lb

W W D = 20 lb

Herd 1 Average 500 lb Average 530

Herd 2 Average 550 lb Average 580

Interpretation of Threshold Traits

- Calving Ease EPD
- Stayability EDP
- Heifer Pregnancy EPD

Underlying Scores to Preg Rate

Difficult to get pregnant

Easy to get pregnant

Average

Suppose 20% heifers are open

And 80% heifers are pregnant

Underlying Scores to Preg Rate

Pregnant Heifers

Heifers not in calf

20%

Difficult to get pregnant

Easy to get pregnant

Average

Underlying Scores to Preg Rate

Pregnant Heifers

Heifers not in calf

20%

Truncn pt = 0.84s

12%

Truncn pt = 0.84 +0.38/1.17=1.165

Phenotypic s.d. = 1.17

0.38

Underlying Scores to Preg Rate

10%

Truncn pt = 1.28s

5.5%

Truncn pt = 1.28 +0.38/1.17=1.605

Phenotypic s.d. = 1.17

0.38

Sensitive to the Average

- An underlying EPD of 0.38 for heifer pregnancy would increase pregnancy rate
- By 8.0% if average pregnancy rate is 80%
- By 4.5% if the average is 90%
- Phenotypic “interpretation” of underlying threshold scores depends upon the mean
- Published values are at a mean of 50%

Solution

- Publish values that are hard to interpret
- OR Publish tables of EPDs relevant to different average levels of performance
- Calving Ease:
- First Calf: 75, 80, 85, 90, 95%
- Mixed Age: 95, 99%
- Stayability: 40, 45, 50, 55, 60%
- Heifer Pregnancy: 75, 80, 85, 90, 95%

Solutions (cont)

- OR Use web-based decision support
- User defined average levels of performance
- Compute the
- number of pregnant vs open heifers
- number of easy vs difficult calvings
- Likely age structure of the herd
- Number of replacement heifers required
- Number of cull yearlings and mixed age cows

Interactions between ERTs

- WWD EPD + 30 lb (all other EPDs equal)
- gives +30 lb weanlings

Interactions between ERTs

- WWD EPD + 30 lb (all other EPDs equal)
- gives +30 lb weanlings
- gives +22 lb weanling sale wt “per cow” in a “typical” self-replacing herd

Interactions between ERTs

- WWD EPD + 30 lb (all other EPDs equal)
- gives +30 lb weanlings
- gives +22 lb weanling sale wt “per cow” in a “typical” self-replacing herd
- Increasing ST +8 will give another +8 lb

Interactions between ERTs

- WWD EPD + 30 lb (all other EPDs equal)
- gives +30 lb weanlings
- gives +22 lb weanling sale wt “per cow” in a “typical” self-replacing herd
- Increasing ST +8 will give another +8 lb
- Increasing HPG +12 will give another + 3lb

Interactions between ERTs

- WWD EPD + 30 lb (all other EPDs equal)
- gives +30 lb weanlings
- gives +22 lb weanling sale wt “per cow” in a “typical” self-replacing herd
- Increasing ST +8 will give another +8 lb
- Increasing HPG +12 will give another + 3lb
- Increasing CED +11 will give another +1 lb

Interactions between ERTs

- Many ERT interact in a system context
- Total sale weight at weaning is altered by WWD, WWM, STAY, HPG, CED, CEM, ME (plus BW & YWT)
- The impact of any one EPD on the change in sale weight depends upon all the other EPDs and the average levels of performance

Assessment of Nutritional (& other input) Implications

- Feed requirements are influenced by the
- Expected maintenance requirements
- Expected requirements for gain
- Deviation from our expectations (known as residual feed intake or RFI)
- Changing any of WWD, WWM, STAY, HPG, CED, CEM, ME, BW, YW will alter whole herd feed requirements

Assessment of Financial Implications

- Changes in profit can be calculated from change in income × prices change in expenses × costs
- Straightforward (but tedious) arithmetic
- Prices & Costs can be obtained on a financial basis or an economic basis
- What is the cost of feed in an extensive cow-calf grazing operation?

Economic Cost of Feed

- Feed “cost” can be calculated from its “opportunity” cost
- Measure of what net income would be given up if you had less feed (and less cows)
- Can be calculated from comparing the system profit of two herds of alternative genotypes with different stocking rates such that each consume the same amount of feed

Solutions

- Leave it to bull buyers to struggle thru facts & calculations
- OR put it all together via the web

Website ert.agsci.colostate.edu

Current Philosophical Approach

Perturbed Situation

Base Situation

Current

(equilibrium)

Cow

Herd

(EPD

&

Performance)

Like

Merit

Bulls

X

Base Cow-calf outputs & inputs

Current Philosophical Approach

Perturbed Situation

Base Situation

Current

Cow

Herd

(EPD)

Chosen

Bulls

X

Current

(equilibrium)

Cow

Herd

(EPD

&

Performance)

Like

Merit

Bulls

Daughter

(equilibrium)

Cow

Herd

(EPD

& Base mean

Performance)

X

Base Cow-calf outputs & inputs

Current Philosophical Approach

Perturbed Situation

Base Situation

Current

Cow

Herd

(EPD)

Chosen

Bulls

X

Current

(equilibrium)

Cow

Herd

(EPD

&

Performance)

Like

Merit

Bulls

Daughter

(equilibrium)

Cow

Herd

(EPD

& base mean

Performance)

Like

Merit

Bulls

X

X

Perturbed Cow-calf outputs & inputs

Base Cow-calf outputs & inputs

Accounting for Risk

Consider the following three bulls

Bull #prog Acc Profit

Lima 30 0.5 to 0.6 $908

Sierra 240 0.7 to 0.8 $729

Bravo 3700 0.8 to 0.95 $648

Accounting for Risk

- On average, true EPD is equally likely to be greater or lesser than published
- ACC allows us to quantify the extent to which the estimate may vary from true
- Considering just BW, WW, YW, Milk, ME and not (in this example) CED, CETM, HPG, ST we can compute many possible “realizations” of each bull

Solution

- Publish an “expected change” table
- OR provide web options for quantifying risk (prototype available this Fall)

Multibreed Evaluation & Xbreeding

*A1 & S3 are breed average EPDs

Solution

- Publish within-breed EPDs
- Let users find breed adjustments & heterosis
- Publish multibreed EPDs
- Let users deal with heterosis coefficients & heterosis
- Publish all EPDs on a multibreed base with heterosis factors included according to the breed of dam for every ERT
- Use web-based decision support

Summary

- To date, the major value of the web has been convenience
- In future, the web will provide an interface to knowledge (eg nutritional requirements and heterosis factors) and information that for customized calculations to support your decisions
- Better decision support will give better decisions (eg more profit)

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