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Herd Management Decisions
4. EPDs

EPDs are one of several criteria used in the bull selection process. Generally at the JHL all extremes are discounted and correlations are looked for between EPDs and supporting data (i.e. ultrasound). A concern with EPDs is that they may be "forcing" seedstock suppliers to continue to generate higher and higher performance traits in order to separate themselves from their competitors. At some point this will compromise the sustainability of the animal. We believe that heterosis should be the natural way of achieving higher performance.

Another concern with EPDs is their mathematical development. They present an average, sometimes a mean or median. We have not found any EPDs developed from a standard deviation. As long as our segment of the industry depends on an average, how can we expect the packers to pay on anything other than the average? image002.jpgThe implications of the differences are significant to the industry. An admittedly simplified analogy of the differences between these mathematical methods would be using a shotgun (widely scattered with a middle to the shot pattern but no idea how far out are the extremes- EPDs). If a standard deviation was used it would be more like a rifle grouping. A real time application of standard deviation EPDs would better show which sire has a tighter grouping of progeny.

Soli Deo Gloria


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