As fall approaches, most of you will be weaning calves, selecting replacements and taking calves to market. At NALF, August signals the beginning of one of the busiest times of the year. We are completing the budget for 2012-2013, receiving weaning data and registrations at the highest volume of the year. Since fall will be here before we know it, I thought I would update you on new rules and strategies to expedite your experience with NALF and improve the quality of your data.
In an ongoing effort to maintain the integrity of the NALF herd book, the Board voted in August 2010 to institute a rule regarding genetic defects in the Angus and Red Angus populations. These rules relate to cattle that are carriers of arthrogryposis multiplex (AM), neuropathic hydrocephalus (NH), contractural arachnodactyly (CA) and osteopetrosis (OS). As of January 1, 2012, all Lim-FlexÂ® or percentage cattle that have known carriers of these defects in their pedigree must be tested free of the defect in order to be registered.
In August 2011, the Board instated a defect ruling relating to foundation cows. Foundation cows, which are cows without a documented pedigree, must be tested free of the defects stated above, as well as pulmonary hypoplasia with anasarca (PHA) and tibial hemimelia (TH) in order for their calves to be registered.
To facilitate access and advantageous pricing for NALF members, NALF has developed new partnerships with GeneSeek Inc. (formerly IgenityÂ®) and Pfizer Animal Health. These non-exclusive agreements have added more competition for your business and have facilitated new product development and pricing. With the implementation of these newly formed partnerships, it requires NALF now handle the samples in-house. As you prepare to submit samples for genetic testing, please use the new form available on the NALF website or from the office, and send the samples directly to NALF.
GeneSeek now offers a Limousin Genomic Profiler that yields molecular breeding values that will be included in NALFâ€™s genetic evaluation. This product will allow for increased EPD accuracy on cattle at a younger age. With the Profiler, an animalâ€™s molecular breeding values are equal to recording 5-15 progeny, depending on the trait.
Through the use of the Profiler, you could conceivably have a calf with more accurate EPDs than a 6-year-old cow. The Profiler also has add-ons for polled, parentage, color and myostatin (F94L) tests, providing you with maximum information from just one sample. GeneSeek is also offering unique bundles for all three Angus defects and foundation cow tests that include all the defects required for registration.
Pfizer Animal Health is offering parentage, polled and defect testing on a price competitive basis. Every dollar spent with Pfizer qualifies for the NALF Rebate Program, whereby NALF receives a rebate from the dollars its members spend on Pfizer products. Providing NALF with a copy of your Pfizer product receipts will allow the Foundation to have added funds for research, education and the junior program. Make sure to fax, e-mail or mail your receipts to NALF care of Bobbi Hartwig.
As you submit your data, donâ€™t forget to turn in entire contemporary groups. In order for your best animalâ€™s EPDs to display their quality, they must be compared to all of their contemporaries. This allows for more accurate ratios and a more accurate genetic evaluation.
The LIMS program can be a helpful tool to accomplish this goal. You can register all of your calves and record their transfers online for a cost relative to registering half of them as yearlings, all while getting more accurate information.
As you may already know, Mary Zilk is no longer in the NALF office as of June 15. She was a great asset to the Foundation and will be missed. Taking over her responsibilities are Alison Pagel, director of membership services, and Brittany Barrick, director of registry and performance. Barrick will be handling the DNA submissions; donâ€™t hesitate to contact her with any questions. Both are bright and willing to assist you with your registration and genetic testing needs. They are both proving to be great assets and I believe they will help drive the Foundation into the future.
As always, NALF is here to assist with any of your needs. We look forward to a good fall sale and show season and look forward to seeing you in Denver for the National Western Stock Show in January 2013.