New Igenity® product line ramps up heifer selection accuracy
January 29, 2015
LINCOLN, Neb., Jan. 28, 2015 — Neogen GeneSeek is introducing a new line of highly accurate Igenity® DNA profilers just as cow/calf producers are looking to grow their cow herds in the face of record low inventories.
Producers use Igenity profiling to select heifers, manage their herd and market cattle of verified genetic merit, said Dr. Stewart Bauck, general manager of Neogen's GeneSeek operation.
"Previously we screened for hundreds of gene markers. Now we target thousands, and are focusing on the most powerful genes that affect profits in commercial cow herds," Bauck said.
While screening for many more gene markers, the new Igenity Gold and Igenity Silver profiles also zero in on gene-marker variations that play important roles in cattle development and performance.
"Neogen has invested in world-class genotyping and built new products that detect gene variations which emerging science has linked to major effects on beef cattle profitability," Bauck said. "These new Igenity profiles are built on an analysis of tens of thousands of animals genotyped with high-density markers. The product design, while using the latest in advanced genomic technology, is made easy for producers to access, understand and apply."
The new Igenity Gold profile ranks cattle on 12 categories of maternal, performance and carcass traits, plus verifies parentage. This full-power profile provides more insight for producers. The reports are useful for improving maternal lines, profiling bulls that lack EPDs, marketing bred heifers or growing high-quality beef, he said.
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The new Igenity Silver profile ranks heifers in six categories of maternal, performance and carcass traits, Bauck said. It is useful for screening large numbers of crossbred or straight-bred heifers, and now offers free parentage verification.
"The cost to develop a replacement heifer is in the $1,000 to $1,500 range. Profiling helps you be confident you are raising mother cows that have quality calves and breed back well," Bauck said.
"Profiling and selecting heifers early in life helps you sort the best for breeding stock," he said. "You also can make timely management decisions if you are developing them as replacements or as feeder heifers."
Both profiles offer free parentage verification. Clients can still add on tests for genetic health and diagnostics, such as BVD-PI and pregnancy status. In addition, the profiles detect male Y chromosome in female cattle DNA, which researchers at USDA-MARC suggest may explain why some otherwise healthy cows are less fertile.
The new Igenity portfolio was introduced at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Feb. 4, in San Antonio, and will be available March 1. The company also said it is upgrading its online livestock selection tools.
"At Igenity.com, you can set selection criteria that helps you emphasize traits that match your climate or intended market. And, you can also benchmark your cattle against the nearly half a million records we have in our database. We are making both these systems easier to use," Bauck said.
Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG) develops and markets products dedicated to food and animal safety. Neogen's animal genomics businesses, GeneSeek and Igenity, provide value-added services to leading agricultural genetics providers, large national cattle associations, companion animal breed registries, university researchers, and numerous commercial cattle producers. For more information, visit http://www.neogen.com/genomics.