Marellan Shorthorns Offer GE-EPDs






Marellan Shorthorns have become the first Shorthorn herd in Australia to offer their clients genomically enhanced International Genetic Solutions (IGS) Expected Progeny Differences (EPD’s) on their line up of 2019 sale bulls. The evaluation of the Marellan sale team was undertaken through the new platform, ShorGene.

IGS EPD’s offer a full suite of genetic evaluation prediction tools including maternal, growth and carcase traits. EPD’s are similar to EBV’s which clients have been using for many years.

Beyond the traditional EPD’s, Marellan Shorthorns have also taken the step to invest in genotyping their entire cow herd, to be able to offer their clients full genomic enhanced EPD’s.  This also included ensuring that all sale bulls were poll tested and sire verified. This is important to ensure that Marellan clients can leverage the maximum amount of information when making their bull selections for their herds.

IGS is the worlds largest beef genetic evaluation system and is currently being used by 15 breed societies globally including both the American and Canadian Shorthorn Associations. The Shorthorn breed currently has nearly 5,000 genotypes in the IGS evaluation with more genotypes being added monthly.

Marellan Shorthorns used genomics across their entire breeding herd, genotyping not only the non-parent sale bulls but also their dams as well. The net effect has seen accuracies on the EPD’s increase significantly, giving Marellan Shorthorns and clients the best available tools for selection.

To demonstrate the value, one of the star lots in the sale, Lot 6 Marellan Utopia, after phenotype and genotype evaluation, now sits in the top 13% of the Shorthorn Beef population for Calving Ease Direct, top 4% for Maternal Weaning Weight, top 11% for Carcase Weight, top 3% for Rib Eye Area and top 4% for Fat. He also sits in the top 5% of the Shorthorn Beef population for the API Index.

The API (All Purpose Index) $Index evaluates sires for use on a self-replacing cow herd, with steers and cull heifers marketed with emphasis on both marbling and yield traits.

Any change can be challenging for breeders to adjust too. Whilst the majority of IGS EPD’s offered are for the same traits as currently recorded, understanding new EPD values and new Shorthorn percentile bands can require extra work for producers at bull sale time.

To make bull selection easier, Marellan Shorthorns have also published a column called Rank %. Rank % describes the position of each EPD, relative to the Shorthorn Beef population, so breeders will not be required to learn the new percentile tables and can use Rank % to see where each EPD directly sits. Effectively, the Rank % is more useful than the EPD value itself.

ShorGene is the new evaluation and technical platform for Shorthorn Beef who have been working on progressing the breed evaluation into the IGS system, bringing Shorthorn Beef and American and Canadian Shorthorns into one directly comparable analysis.

Whilst Shorgene has completed the transition of data into the IGS evaluation, the next task is the completion of a software platform that can distribute and disseminate the IGS results for members.

The exciting move by Marellan Shorthorns to offer fully genomically enhanced EPD’s demonstrates their great commitment to offering the best selection tools possible, to assist their clients achieve their maximum profitability.

2019 Marellan Shorthorns Sale Catalogue

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About Shorthorn

The Shorthorn breed is truly unique, from their distinctive roan colour, to their rich breed history and most importantly, the wonderful community of breeders, there is nothing else quite like a Shorthorn.

The key to the Shorthorn breeds advantage lies in their balanced genetic profile, driven by market participation that has been developed and refined, after more than 200 years of genetic selection under Australian conditions.

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