Cow Herd DNA Roundup FAQs

CowHerdDNA_final_RGB_mergeFrequently Asked Questions

Background
The Cow Herd DNA Roundup (CHR) is a recent program launched by the American Simmental Association in collaboration with GeneSeek®. The CHR offers a 60% off 50K genomic panel including parentage ($20 compared to $50 equivalent test) to participating breeders who test their entire cow herd. If breeders also submit cow weights with either Body Condition Scores (BCS) or hip heights they receive an additional $5 off per test.

How can I benefit from participating in the
Cow Herd DNA Roundup?

1.) Genomic testing is most valuable in cattle with low accuracy EPDs. Typically, all cows have low accuracy EPDs because they don’t have enough calves in a lifetime to gain enough records to reach moderate or high accuracy EPDs. For instance, adding genomics
to the stayability EPD is equivalent to having stayability information on 21 daughters.
Therefore, adding genomic results to EPDs of the cow herd will markedly improve the
accuracy of their EPDs allowing breeders to make better decisions.

2.) At $20, if someone has 100 cows, they can test the entire herd for $2,000. Furthermore, if they submit cow weights, they would only pay $1,500.  Based on ASA’s current fee structure, the same allotment of funds would only be enough to GE-EPD 30-40 head and the whole herd would not benefit from the testing.

3.) Parentage included — current error in parentage is estimated at 7%. Large scale testing will reveal and help correct errors in the pedigrees resulting in better EPD predictions.

4.) Parentage markers will be in the database making future parentage testing easier.

5.) Additional trait testing is optional in conjunction with the CHR.

6.) In the future, maintaining a fully tested herd will only require testing yearling heifers.

Can I test my bulls at this discounted price?

No, bulls need to be tested through the regular DNA services. Contact DNA@simmgene.com or 406-587-4531 for more information about testing your bulls.

Can I test my donor cows through this project?
No, cows tested through the Cow Herd DNA Roundup project will not qualify as donors. Donors must be tested using regular DNA services on a High Density genomic panel.
Can I test my heifers at this discounted price?
As the Cow Herd DNA Roundup is part of a research and development project, the timeline for results is uncertain.  If breeders would like to test their heifers, they may
at the discounted price. However, they may not have the results for an extended period of time so anything with a timeline should not be included in this project.

What if I can’t submit a sample on my entire cow herd?
In order to qualify for the Cow Herd DNA Roundup pricing, you must submit DNA on the entire cow herd with a 10% cushion. That means, if you have 100 cows, you need to submit DNA on at least 90 of them. If you send DNA on 85 cows, you will not qualify for this project.

Can I order other tests (like coat color and
horned/polled) in addition to the genomic
and parentage tests?
Yes, the usual add-on DNA test options available with GGP-LD and GGP-HD will be available with the CHR project. You must indicate prior to testing if you have additional traits to include.
How long does this offer last?
This offer is for a limited time only — samples must be submitted to ASA by December 15, 2018. Don’t wait until December 2018 to join this movement, there is a capped budget for this project so breeders need to submit samples early to ensure these discounts.

What if I have already genotyped my females? Do I need to test them again?
That depends on where the previous genomic test was completed. ASA or IGS needs to have access to the genomic test results in the evaluation in order for the test to apply towards this project.  If the test was through either ASA or IGS partner associations, then you do not need to genotype the cows again.  If the test was ordered directly with a genotyping company or a breed association outside of IGS, then you will need to retest those cattle in order to qualify for this discount.

What if I already have recorded mature weights and either BCS or Hip Height on my cows?
Cows only need one Mature Weight and Body Condition Score (BSC) or Hip Height record. If you have previously sent ASA these records, you can qualify for the
additional $5 off.

When will I have results for my herd?
As this is part of a Research and Development project, the timeline for results is uncertain. Participating breeders need to acknowledge the fact there is no concrete
timeline for reporting results. If animals have any kind of deadline approaching, breeders should use the regular DNA services for testing on these animals.

What types of DNA samples are accepted by the lab?
The lab prefers Allflex® Tissue Sampling Units (TSUs) but blood cards and hair are also accepted. The TSUs are $2/each for the sampling units and an applicator is $35.00. Blood cards are being offered at no charge. Hair cards will have a $5.00 handling fee per sample. The member is responsible for all shipping costs associated with this project.

How can I sign up my herd for the CHR?
Contact Leoma Wells or Jackie Atkins at cowdna@simmgene.com or call 406-587-4531 if you are interested in participating.
Go to simmental.org/chr for more information.

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