American Angus Association to update $Value Index models
The American Angus Association® Board of Directors approved changes to the $Value Indexes during the February board meeting Feb. 18-21, 2019. Updated $Value Indexes will be available this June, and changes include revisions to Beef Value ($B), updating the Weaned Calf Value ($W) model to the new Maternal Value ($Maternal) and rounding all $Values to whole dollars to eliminate decimals. Quality Grade ($QG) and Yield Grade ($YG) will be removed because $QG is redundant to the Marbling EPD, and $YG is redundant to Fat and REA EPDs. In addition, a balanced index will be implemented June 2020 with a complete education plan to be executed with the membership and industry to take place over the next 15 months.
“Our current $Value Index models have served us well since 2004,” said Dan Moser, Angus Genetics Inc. president. “But since 2004, technology has improved, and new EPDs have been created. So, an extensive research project was initiated in February of 2018, which included an industry survey of all sectors that allowed staff to gain insight into how Angus breeders utilize genetic tools. These results complemented the core research analysis that ultimately led to the updated $Value models.”
Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) staff worked alongside AbacusBio, a renowned animal breeding technology consulting company, to develop and conduct the survey, analyze the results and update economic models. The AGI team reviewed the findings and put together recommendations to best serve the goals of the membership and the breed. The recommendations were reviewed by the Board, and several were approved.
$B will be updated to better reflect current end points when finishing cattle. $W will become $Maternal and will include more EPDs, such as maternal calving ease, heifer pregnancy and docility. Also effective in June 2019, all $Values will be rounded to whole dollars, eliminating the decimals, or cents, portion of each $Value.
Finally, a balanced index also was approved to roll out June 2020. A comprehensive education initiative will be conducted over the next 15 months to ensure that membership can see exactly how the balanced index will work, what EPDs are included and how it can be considered when making breeding decisions.
— Written by Rachel Robinson, Angus Communications