Red Angus Association of America Boosts Reliability of EPDs with BOLT

New genetic evaluation software Biometric Open Language Tools, or BOLT, will enable Red Angus producers to make more informed, lower risk selection decisions. ( Wyatt Bechtel )

Cattle producers can expect more accurate predictions with the release of the fall 2018 Red Angus EPD suite, calculated using the much-anticipated new genetic evaluation software Biometric Open Language Tools, or BOLT by Theta Solutions LLC. The new BOLT-generated Red Angus EPDs will enable producers to make more informed, lower risk selection decisions.

Ryan Boldt, RAAA director of breed improvement, stated that BOLT-generated EPDs are very beneficial for Red Angus producers moving forward.

“The BOLT analysis is able to use pedigree, performance and genomic information simultaneously to calculate EPDs. Through this method, we are able to improve reliability and squeeze more valuable information out of the data.”

One factor lending itself to the increased accuracy of the EPDs is the sheer size of the database, which is composed of nearly 17 million animals from 13 different breed associations. Generally speaking, the accuracy of prediction increases proportionally with the size of the data pool. Additionally, BOLT uses a subset of DNA markers that influence economically relevant traits. This method of analysis reduces the statistical noise of unimportant markers, which boosts the accuracy of its EPD predictions. Another advantage of the BOLT software is the frequency of data analysis, which can be done weekly.

"We've reached a real milestone in the history of Red Angus with the release of BOLT-generated EPDs," says Tom Brink, CEO of the Red Angus Association of America. "One of our long-standing core policies is to utilize the best science available once it's ready, and that is certainly true with BOLT. Breeders and commercial customers will now have access to the better genetic prediction tools, which will enable them to make multi-trait improvement like never before."

Red Angus was the first breed to implement Total Herd Reporting and has been doing so for two decades. The utilization of THR has created an accurate database of Red Angus genetics and EPDs, which are trusted by farmers and ranchers. Furthermore, Red Angus EPDs are displayed with their in-breed percentile ranking to assist with selection decisions in the context of how individual animal traits rank within the Red Angus population.

BOLT plus Red Angus’ strong base of THR data, combined with a large volume of genomic data from tests provides EPDs with unsurpassed reliability. The information from genomic data can be as informative as a bull’s first calf crop or a cow’s lifetime production record.

For more information on BOLT and Red Angus EPDs, visit the “Genetics” page on www.RedAngus.org.

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