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Not all genomic sires are created equal

Genomic proofs give us the confidence to use exciting sires sooner! Be assured that these bulls will deliver on their genetic promises, since genomic testing provides an immediate reliability of nearly 70% for production, health and conformation traits.

You might be wondering, what are the different genomic sire options? Let’s break them down…

Alta Advantage Logo

Alta ADVANTAGE

Our 23 newest bulls are available only to our Alta ADVANTAGE partner herds. These Alta ADVANTAGE only sires offer diverse trait specialties and elite rankings on many customized genetic plans.

New, young bulls simply don’t produce enough semen to be readily available to all farms around the globe. So while we work to build semen inventory, we give our loyal Alta ADVANTAGE partner herds priority access to these elite, new sires that best fit their customized genetic plans.

G-STAR Logo

G-STARS

Once a bull has made enough semen he is added to the G-STAR sire list. With 30 new G-STAR bulls this proof round, these sires are readily available to everyone. This groups includes a wide array of outliers for various production, health and type traits. From this elite list, you can find a great selection of bulls to fit your genetic plan.

Future Star Logo

FUTURE STARS

About a year after a bull is first released, we know results for both sire fertility and calving ease. We gather this data, analyze the results, and award the FUTURE STAR designation to only the bulls that prove themselves above average for sire fertility and less than 8% for sire calving ease and sire stillbirth.

This proof round, 13 bulls earned their FUTURE STAR status. This means they gained enough pregnancy check observations to prove their high fertility CONCEPT PLUS status. Plus, they have enough offspring born to prove their easy calvings.

FUTURE STARS are the way to go if you want the benefits of elite genomics, but prefer the added reliability of proven sire fertility and calving ease. You may give up some production and health as compared to the available G-STAR or ADVANTAGE only sires, but you gain peace of mind knowing that you’re upping your chances for a pregnancy and a live calf resulting from an easier calving.

Because of the known calving ability, FUTURE STARS are ideal options to use on heifers.

Now that you know the difference between each genomic sire option, and the progression a bull could make as he matures, compare the average genetic level of each group in the table below. You’ll see that the newest, Alta ADVANTAGE bulls have the highest genetic averages, followed by the G-STAR sires, and then by the more highly reliable FUTURE STARS.

TPIMilkFatProPTATUDCFLCSCEPLDPRSCS
Alta ADVANTAGE Only2743156777582.062.121.307.18.13.02.80
G-STAR2633161172581.761.721.096.96.82.32.86
FUTURE STAR2547136265501.481.591.006.46.82.12.78

It’s also important to note that every single bull atop our current daughter-proven list was once a part of the genomic-proven lists. The track record is significant for our current genomic favorites. Each proof round, we see these genomic bulls deliver on their initial predictions, and eventually graduate to daughter-proven success.

With that in mind, have confidence to use a team of sires from the Alta ADVANTAGE, G-STAR or FUTURE STAR lists. You’ll optimize future profitability by selecting a group of bulls that meet your customized goals for production, health and conformation.

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How do genomic proofs hold up?

We’re well into the genomic era. If you’re like most producers, you’re now comfortable incorporating genomic-proven bulls as part of your balanced breeding program.

Yet, you might still have questions about the difference you can expect between a bull’s first genomic proof and his daughter proof. To answer your questions, we’ve done an in-depth proof analysis of all industry bulls. Our goal was to find out how genomic proofs hold up. Do they become more or less accurate with time?

What did we learn?

Graph 1 shows the average change in TPI from initial genomic proofs to April 2017 daughter proofs. The TPI change from genomic to daughter proof is the amount of space that separates the blue and orange lines.

So, even though genomic numbers are still slightly inflated, the gap between genomic and daughter proofs changes less with each passing proof round.

Want more details?

Let’s look at the facts and figures in a different light. We’ll focus in on all 1,078 industry bulls released in 2013. We use this group because all bulls released in 2013 should now have a daughter proof for production, health and conformation traits.

The bell-shaped curve of Graph 3 shows the mean and standard deviation change in TPI on the 1,078 industry bulls released as genomic-proven sires in 2013.

As you can see, on average, these bulls changed less than 100 points from their initial release in 2013 to their daughter proof in April 2017. One hundred of these bulls have a daughter-proven TPI within just twenty points of their original genomic TPI. Only about 40 bulls from the entire group of 1,078 lost more than 300 TPI points – that’s less than 4%.

We see the same trend for NM$. Graph 4 shows the average NM$ change and standard deviation of the same 1,078 industry bulls released in 2013. These sires changed about -103 NM$ from their initial genomic proof in 2013 to their daughter proof in April 2017.

Ninety-five bulls held steady within the small 20 point swing from genomic to daughter-proven NM$. Less than 20 bulls changed more than 300 NM$.

Click the thumbnails below to find the average change in individual traits from a bull’s genomic release in 2013 to his daughter proof in 2017.
April 2017 Top Dtr-proven bullTPI
11HO11434 | AltaCR2531
11HO11379 | AltaRABO2476
11HO11348 | AltaBGOOD2474
11HO11143 | AltaEMBASSY2462
11HO11380 | AltaROBLE2461
11HO11283 | AltaMERCI2450
11HO11272 | AltaGILCREST2444
11HO11446 | AltaPITA2430
11HO11202 | AltaOAK2425
11HO11405 | AltaKADO2419
AVERAGE2457
April 2017 Top Genomic-proven bullsTPI
11HO11630 | AltaMORENO2742
11HO11778 | AltaROBSON2733
11HO11725 | AltaAMULET2712
11HO11724 | AltaSTEEL2684
11HO11826 | AltaLOBELLO2681
11HO11758 | AltaNIXER2676
11HO11672 | AltaKERMIT2667
11HO11736 | AltaRECOIL2656
11HO11734 | AltaPOLISH2651
11HO11720 | AltaFLYWHEEL2643
AVERAGE2685

Currently, our top daughter-proven sires average a solid 2457 TPI. Yet, the top, available genomic-proven group provides a 228 point TPI advantage!

Some bulls gain points and some bulls lose points. But your odds are nearly zero that every single bull atop the genomic-proven list would drop to rank lower than the current list of daughter-proven sires.

As you make your genetic selection decisions, keep in mind:

  1. Genomic proofs are slightly inflated. Yet, with each proof round, we see less change from genomic to daughter-proven TPI and NM$ because of model adjustments made along the way.
  2. The average TPI and NM$ change from genomic proof to daughter proof for bulls released in 2013 is about -100. Despite that change, you still make much faster genetic progress using a group of genomic-proven sires than a group of daughter-proven sires.
  3. Make sure the genetic progress you make is in the direction of your goals. Select a group of genomic-proven sires based on your customized genetic plan. Emphasize only on the production, health or conformation traits that matter most to you to boost your farm’s future profitability.

Proof analysis and graphs done by Ashley Mikshowsky, PEAK Geneticist

Click to download a printable PDF of this article.

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Fast forward your genetic progress with genomic sire options

Genomic proofs give you the confidence to achieve maximum genetic progress by using exciting sires earlier in their careers.

All bulls we bring to Alta are genomic and health tested before joining any line-up. You can be confident these bulls will deliver on their genetic promises, since genomic testing provides an immediate reliability of nearly 70% for production, health and conformation traits.

This proof round we add 21 new sires reserved exclusively for Alta ADVANTAGE partner herds. We expanded our G-STAR list by 38 sires, and promoted 9 new sires to FUTURE STAR status. Each of these three genomic-proven groups offer a variety of bulls to fit all unique genetic plans.

The table below illustrates the difference in production, health and conformation values of our three different groups of genomic-proven sires.

TPINM$MilkProFatPTATUDCFLCSCSPLDPRCCRHCRSCE
ADVANTAGE-only2599750167559761.701.371.242.855.81.32.82.16.8
G-STAR2545714138852701.681.481.162.845.91.32.72.07.0
FUTURE STAR2399613129346601.291.230.872.865.01.12.21.56.6

What’s the difference?

Alta ADVANTAGE: Once a bull starts making semen, he typically starts his career on the Alta ADVANTAGE only list. The newest, youngest bulls simply don’t produce enough semen to be readily available to all farms around the globe. So while we work to build semen inventory on those new bulls, we give our loyal Alta ADVANTAGE partner herds priority access to the newest sires that fit their customized genetic plans.

G-STAR status: Once a bull has made enough semen he is added to the G-STAR sire list. The sires found among the G-STAR ranks are readily available to everyone. They provide a wide array of outliers for various production, health and type traits. From this elite list, you can find a great selection of bulls to fit your genetic plan.

FUTURE STAR favorites: About a year after a bull is first released, and after both sire fertility and calving ease information have been gathered, the chosen few that prove themselves to be above average for fertility and less than 8% for sire calving ease and sire stillbirth are added to the FUTURE STAR list.

FUTURE STARS are the way to go if you want the benefits of elite genomics, but prefer the added reliability of proven sire fertility and real observations for calving ease. You may give up some production and health as compared to the available G-STAR or ADVANTAGE only sires, but you gain peace of mind knowing that you’re upping your chances for a pregnancy and a live calf resulting from an easier calving. Because of the known calving ability, FUTURE STARS serve as ideal options to use on heifers.

Still not convinced?

If you still don’t feel comfortable going all in with genomic-proven sires, look below. Here, we compare our top daughter-proven and top genomic sires. Selection from among the top of the daughter-proven lineup provides you with a highly reliable 2457 average TPI.

Yet, if you’re looking for faster progress, the tables below prove that your best genetic gifts come from the genomic group of sires. They average 228 TPI points higher than their daughter-proven counterparts.

Table 1 here shows the TPI and average of the current top daughter-proven sires.
April 2017 Top Dtr-proven bullsTPI
11HO11434AltaCR2531
11HO11379AltaRABO2476
11HO11348AltaBGOOD2474
11HO11143AltaEMBASSY2462
11HO11380AltaROBLE2461
11HO11283AltaMERCI2450
11HO11272AltaGILCREST2444
11HO11446AltaPITA2430
11HO11202AltaOAK2425
11HO11405AltaKADO2419
AVERAGE2457
Table 2 here shows the TPI and average of the current top genomic-proven sires.
April 2017 Top Genomic-proven bullsTPI
11HO11630AltaMORENO2742
11HO11778AltaROBSON2733
11HO11725AltaAMULET2712
11HO11724AltaSTEEL2684
11HO11826AltaLOBELLO2681
11HO11758AltaNIXER2676
11HO11672AltaKERMIT2667
11HO11736AltaRECOIL2656
11HO11734AltaPOLISH2651
11HO11720AltaFLYWHEEL2643
AVERAGE2685

To further build your confidence in the genomic-proven groups, it’s important to note that every single one of these top daughter-proven sires were previously used globally as FUTURE STARS and/or G-STARS. The track record is significant for these former genomic favorites to deliver on their initial predictions.

With that in mind, use a team of sires from the Alta ADVANTAGE, G-STAR or FUTURE STAR lists that meets your goals for production, health and conformation. These sires give you confidence that your genetic gains will lead to optimal future profitability.
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