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Ultrasound and DNA: Increasing Accuracies in EPDs

Ultrasound technicians will hear the question, “Do I need to ultrasound?  I use DNA.”  The short answer is yes, ultrasound data is important.  The reality is that the explanation of the “yes” can be complex and lengthy.  Many industry leading scientists and breed associations have written numerous articles and reports on the use of DNA in genetic evaluation.  Consider checking out the following links to become better informed.


“There are approximately 3 billion base pairs in bovine DNA. The sequence of these base pairs contains the ‘message’ in DNA. Sequence differences form the basis for differences between animals in their genetic merit.”



“If you scan or interpret images from one breed, it has an influence on every breeder within that breed and every commercial ranch that purchases seedstock within that breed. To that end, it is paramount that all involved with this industry work in concert to continually make improvements, validate technology, and continually educate themselves.”



Genomic testing is one more tool for breeders to use to more accurately predict the future performance of animals as parents in the population, but this is not a replacement to performance data recording.”

“Phenotypic measures continue to be an important part in further development of improved genomic panels and the refinement of this technology over time.”



“DNA marker tests results should not be used to replace traditional selection based on EPDs and economic index values, but rather should be seen as providing an additional source of information from which to predict genetic merit.”



“And yet another reminder, even in the era of genomic selection, phenotypes (observed performance records) are still king and producers must not stop or limit phenotypic data collection.”



“There is still a need to collect and routinely record phenotypic information by seedstock producers. Commercial producers need to realize that EPDs, and economic index values, are the currency of the realm for beef cattle selection.  Genomic technology only makes these tools stronger, it does not replace them.”



“Genomic predictors should be viewed as an additional source of information for EPD calculations, not the complete picture.” 



“Despite considerable progress in the arena of genomics-based selection tools over the past 20-plus years, including the mapping of the bovine genome, genomics has not developed into a standalone tool to replace EPDs.”



Locations Scanned:



What the images look like and how they're interpreted:


        Ribeye                     IMF%                       Rump





Need help getting ultrasound barnsheets? Below are videos/tutorials from breed associations.

Red Angus sent us a video to use, click on the other breeders to get their video/tutorials. 

Red Angus








If you don't see the breed you want or are having trouble getting the barnsheets pulled, call or email us and we will help you. 


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