The collection of progeny carcass records and subsequent development of carcass EPDs is an important part of the genetic documentation of Gelbvieh cattle in the United States. Progeny test schemes like the AGA's Sire Carcass Test Program, are an effective, accurate means for building a data set of carcass records. Clearly, cost is the significant deterrent hindering broader collection of progeny carcass data by Gelbvieh breeders.
During the last several years, the use of ultrasound technology to gather carcass records has advanced considerably. Not only has the software used to analyze ultrasound images improved, but the number and proficiency of technicians has also improved. Properly trained technicians can accurately use ultrasound technology to measure differences in carcass traits in both live feedlot and breeding cattle. Ultrasound scanning is reasonably priced and represents a good opportunity for Gelbvieh breeders to collect information on carcass traits on a large number of breeding animals in a
cost effective manner.
Recent research using ultrasound carcass records collected on Brangus cattle suggests that ultrasound measures collected after 1994 will provide quality information for inclusion in genetic evaluations. There are strong genetic correlations between ultrasound records collected on yearling bulls and heifers and carcass records retrieved on related fed steers and heifers. It is important to document these correlations in Gelbvieh cattle. Should these correlations be satisfactory, ultrasound records from Gelbvieh breeding
cattle and feedlot steers, could be used to calculate Carcass EPDs.
At its April 1999 meeting, the AGA board of directors approved a staff proposal for the collection of ultrasound carcass data from Gelbvieh breeders. The data collected will be used to evaluate the utility of ultrasound carcass records in the calculation of carcass EPDs for Gelbvieh cattle. Ultrasound data collected in previous years may be submitted to the AGA for inclusion in the ultrasound database.
In recent years, ultrasound scanning technology has improved dramatically. However, the accuracy of the scan information relies heavily upon the competency of technicians operating the scanning equipment and interpreting the images. For that reason, data submitted to the AGA should be from currently accredited ultrasound technicians. Currently, we use the Iowa State University-Centralized Ultrasound Processing Lab. Technicians must be certified by the Beef Cattle Ultrasound Technician APTC program. Technicians are certified by trait, rib eye area, fat thickness and intramuscular fat. Be sure that the technician you select is certified in each trait for which you plan to submit data, and that the technician uses the equipment to scan your animals on which they are currently certified.
AGA GUIDELINES FOR SUBMITTING ULTRASOUND CARCASS INFORMATION January 2002 -Official Ultrasound Barnsheets must be requested from the AGA.
AGA is currently gathering ultrasound carcass infonnation to assess the possibility of generating EPDs for carcass traits from ultrasound data. Many AGA members are collecting ultrasound infonnation. For your ultrasound data to be included in an AGA ultrasound evaluation, the following guidelines must be met:
• Ultrasound data must be processed through Centralized Ultrasound Processing facility at Iowa State
• AGA has no official requirements regarding ultrasound equipment provided the technician is APTC-
certified and can generate the required ultrasound infonnation.
• All animals must be on file (registered or computed) with the AGA prior to submitting ultrasound data
to the AGA.
• Data must be submitted to the AGA on official CUP Gelbvieh Barn Sheets obtained through the AGA.
Contact the AGA for more infonnation or to request a barnsheet.
ULTRASOUND DATA REQUIRED:
a. Percent IMF -- intramuscular fat (0.00 %)
b. Rib eye area (00.0 sq. inches)
c. Rib fat thickness (0.00 inches)
d. Rump fat (0.00 inches)
IN ADDITION TO ACTUAL ULTRASOUND DATA, AGA REQUIRES THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
a. AGA registration number of each animal
b. Date scanned
c. Actual weight on the date scanned
d. Technician name (must be certified)
e. Ultrasound equipment used
Ultrasound carcass data must be collected between 320 and 410 days of age (same date range as yearling data). For convenience, you may want to schedule ultrasound data collection for the same date when other yearling data is collected.
AGA recommends that ALL animals are weighed and scanned for a given contemporary group.
Animals should be in good flesh at the time of scanning. Bulls should be scanned prior to being taken off of gain test. Heifers should be scanned following a growing or developing program. Scanning at these times allows animals to express maximum genetic differences for marbling and fat thickness.