Make an Informed Decison
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EPD stands for Expected Progeny Differences and are intended to be used to improve genetics. They allow for cattle of the same breed to be systematically compared to each other and allow producers to select for specific traits that will benefit their herd. EPD values are calculated by the breed association and are based upon the actual performance data submitted from producers (Birth weight, weaning weight, etc.). Accuracy of EPD's is based upon relatives performance and if genomic testing has been done. An animal with a large number of offspring and has been genomic tested will have a higher EPD accuracy verses an animal that has few to none offspring and has not been genomic tested. Another term you will see when looking at Red Angus EPDs is "Percentiles". EPD percentiles allow you to see where that animal stands in comparison to the entire red angus breed. For example, an animal that is in the 30th percentile will be better than 70 percent of the red angus breed in that specific EPD.
Indexes are another tool that producers can utilize to compare animals. Indexes are created are by combining individual EPD's at different weights. The exact formula's are kept secret by the association but are held consistent among animals of the same breed. Since indexes are a combination of individual EPD's it allows producers to not get tunnel vision for one specific trait, thus making them a great option for beginners. The Red Angus Association has three primary indexes: Profitability and Sustainability (ProS), Herdbuilder (HB), and Gridmaster (GM)