DNA testing revolutionizing cattle ranching

| | May 9, 2018
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Image: Alta Genetics
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Beef cattle ranchers are getting wise to the science of genetics.

They have always known that making the best steak starts long before consumers pick out the right cut, such as where an animal grazes or what it eats. The key is in the genetic makeup — or DNA — of the herd. And over the past year, those genetics have taken a historic leap thanks to new, predictive DNA technology.

This is playing out in rising auction prices for the best bulls as identified by genetic profiles or simply for their elite pedigree.

“The demand there is primarily because we have the best genetics in the world,” said Gordon Doak, president emeritus of the National Association of Animal Breeders.

Doak said the science is improving quickly.

“The bull [ranchers] used two years ago — they’re not going to use him again,” Doak said. “There’s new ones coming online all the time that have better genetics. That’s why [demand] has increased.”

Today, ranchers can shop for bulls or bull semen touting a very specific genetic concoction that’s prime for improving their herd. And those concoctions are becoming more valuable every day.

Read full, original post: How Prized Bull Semen And DNA Testing Are Reshaping America’s Beef Herd

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