Zoetis, AGI and Certified Angus Beef update GeneMax Advantage

Farm Forum

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Zoetis, Angus Genetics, Inc. (AGI), and Certified Angus Beef (CAB) recently announced updates to GeneMax Advantage. These include upgraded marker effects, up-to-date economic assumptions, an expanded reference population for comparing animals, and now individual trait reporting.

“What we’ve created here is a continuously updated genetic game plan for commercial users of Angus genetics,” said Kent Andersen, Director of Genetic Technical Services, U.S. Cattle-Equine, with Zoetis. “We’ve taken the very latest of what we’ve learned from the world’s largest and more comprehensive genomic calibration and further enhanced GeneMax Advantage. This tool is designed to help with replacement heifer keep/cull decisions, as well as breeding and marketing decisions for commercial cow-calf operations.”

“During tough economic times, we try to give commercial users of Angus genetics every advantage,” said Dan Moser, President, AGI. “GeneMax Advantage is another tool that provides advantages in selection for production efficiency and end-product quality.”

In response to customer requests, GeneMax Advantage now includes individual trait reporting – and all of these enhancements are applicable to both future as well as historically tested animals. Consistent with previous GeneMax offerings, the refreshed genomic test is for use in commercial Angus replacement females (75 percent or greater).

“We are going to begin reporting genetic predictions for many of the individual traits that are included in the indexes—calving ease maternal, weaning weight, heifer pregnancy, milk and mature weight from the Cow Advantage Index,” said Andersen. “We’re also going to report predictions for post-weaning gain, carcass weight, marbling, ribeye and fat from the Feeder Advantage Index. Similar to the indexes, genetic predictions for individual traits are expressed on a 1 to 100 scale, where scores of 50 represent the average genetic merit of tested commercial Angus females in the reference population. Generally, with the exceptions of milk and cow weight, higher scores are more desirable”.

GeneMax Advantage includes customized Smart Outlier Reporting for quick identification of animals that likely possess relatively extreme genetics for unfavorable cow costs from size and milk, docility and tenderness.

The Smart Outliers had previously delivered the information now provided through individual trait reporting. Delivering information on individual traits is not intended to complicate use of results. While the indexes should still drive overall decision-making, reporting genetic merit for individual traits helps cow-calf customers better understand specific trait sources of combined genetic merit described by the indexes.

GeneMax Advantage test results can be downloaded and printed as an Excel and PDF file for easy use by beef producers. The test results can also be used in feeder cattle marketing programs to help better inform price discovery when selling untested steer mates.

For more information on GeneMax Advantage, please contact your Zoetis or CAB representative, or visit www.angus.org/AGI.