what is an epd in agriculture


What is an EPD in biology?

EPD Basics and Definitions Matthew Spangler University of Nebraska, Lincoln mspangler2@unl.edu Introduction Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) allow for the …

What does EPD mean in bull breeding?

 · EPD data is the prediction of how future progeny of animals are expected to perform in relation to the progeny of other animals listed in the database. Many breeds have …

When should producers use EPDs?

 · This is expressed in a percent of unassisted births, with the larger positive numbers indicating greater calving ease. This EPD is determined largely by the weight of the calf. (Trait …

What is an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)?


How accurate is EPD?

Accuracy is just that, how accurate or reliable an EPD is. It is measured on a scale from 0 to 1, the higher the number, the greater the accuracy. Accuracies are important when assessing existing bull batteries that may have animals of varying ages and when looking at pedigree information.

Why are bulls EPDs important?

To avoid extremes in any one trait, be aware of, and comfortable with, all of a bull’s EPDs that are important to you before making the purchase. EPDs are a tool that can make us better managers if we know how to use them, what their limitations are and if they are used in conjunction with other pertinent information.

Is EPD information good?

One of the results of this change is more and more bulls are sold with EPD information than at any time in the past. This is a good thing, because it provides one more tool to be placed in the tool belt of a potential buyer to ensure they purchase the right bull and will be happy with the results. However, it is my contention that because EPDs are so prevalent in our industry, we reference them in conversation without really knowing what they are and, more importantly, how to use them.

Difference between LCA and Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)

An Environmental Product Declaration is a short version of an LCA report. It is simpler to read, and therefore easier to use in communication than an LCA report.

What are Environmental Product Declarations used for?

The general goal of EPDs is to use verifiable and accurate information to encourage the demand for, and supply of products that have a lower negative impact on the environment.

Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) in construction

Although Environmental Product Declarations could be made for any type of product, the construction sector has the most advanced EPD system. An extensive PCR (EN15804) provides detailed instructions for the performance of the LCA calculations (and the Dutch PCR called ‘Bepalingsmethode’ follows the EN15804 closely).

Difference between countries

Despite the international collaboration, several countries (e.g. The Netherlands) have some EPD requirements additional to the EN15804 standard. These can be the addition of indicators such as toxicity, slightly different certification procedures, and different lists of certified reviewers.

How to get an EPD

The Product Category Rule (PCR) most appropriate for the studied product is selected.

What is EPD in heifer selection?

EPDs, or Expected Progeny Differences , are an important part of both sire and replacement heifer selection in the beef industry. But just knowing the animal’s EPD for a particular trait is not the only information to consider when making these important decisions. In making selection decisions, one always wants to select the animals, whether bulls or females, that have the best genetic merit for a combination of traits that will maximize profitability in the cowherd. While EPDs do provide one of the best methods to select animals for their value as parents of the next generation, the true breeding value of an animal cannot be known with 100 percent certainty, which is why understanding EPD accuracy values is an essential part of sire and replacement heifer selection.

What is the EPD value?

An EPD is always paired with a corresponding accuracy value (see Table 1) which ranges from 0 to 1 (Please note that accuracies are sometimes expressed as the accuracy multiplied by 100; for example, an accuracy of 0.15 may be listed as 15). This value reflects the confidence in the genetic merit prediction. An accuracy of 0 would reflect no confidence in the estimate, whereas an accuracy of 1 would reflect complete confidence that the true breeding value was known. In practice, accuracy values do not appear with values that extreme (either no or complete confidence).

What is GE-EPD in animal science?

When DNA information is available, EPD accuracy is improved, and these calculations are referred to as a Genomic-enhanced EPD (GE-EPD). Thus, in addition to pedigree, performance and progeny data, GE-EPDs utilize genomic test for increased reliability of an animal’s EPD (Eenennaam and Drake, 2012; Rolf et al., 2014).

When to use EPDs?

Remember, EPDs need to be used in conjunction with operation goals and resources. Limited available feed may limit the how aggressively you select for traits that requires a great deal of inputs and knowing what creates value for your marketplace will result in focusing on traits that are relevant.

Why is EPD accuracy reduced?

As more progeny data are obtained for a sire, the relative contribution of genomic data to overall EPD accuracy is reduced. The lack of confidence associated with EPDs on young cattle comes from not having progeny or performance data, both of which increase the accuracy of the EPD.

How to improve EPDs for bulls?

To improve the accuracy of EPDs for younger bulls, producers may collect and submit DNA samples, which , depending on the trait, may equates to about 10 progeny records for a sire with no other progeny records contributing to his EPDs . As more progeny data are obtained for a sire, the relative contribution of genomic data to overall EPD accuracy is reduced .

What is EPD accuracy?

EPD accuracy is improved if DNA is available. These calculations are known as a Genomic-enhanced EPD (GE-EPD). This article will walk you through how to use EPDs to improve your beef herd.

What is the advantage of genetics in herds?

Herds with a superior genetic profile have a fundamental advantage over other herds and, in many cases, will outperform their contemporaries over their lifetime. When young animals are part of a genetic improvement program, the use of GE-EPDs on the bull side and genomic testing on the heifer side are critical. Using good selection techniques will allow producers to select and develop the right replacement heifers and consistently mate them to complementary sires to optimize profitability.

Can EPDs be compared?

Within a breed, EPDs can be directly compared. Bulls of different breeds can also be compared, but adjustment factors to the EPDs are needed because an EPD from one breed evaluation is not directly comparable to an EPD from another breed evaluation. Since 1993, the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) has produced a table of these adjustment factors so that the merit of individuals can be compared across breeds.

Why are EPDs important?

EPDs are an important tool for determining how to choose the next sire or purebred cows for your cattle herd. We’ll help you make sense of the data so you can be confident about your next cattle purchase!

How are EPDS reported?

Most bases are obtained by forcing the EPDs for all animals in a particular year to add to zero. Thus, the EPDs reported on animals born in the current year are relative to the average genetic merit of the animals born in the base year.

Why do EPDs change over time?

EPDs change over time within breed associations as producers emphasize different traits in order to build upon the strengths and/or weaknesses that are inherent within a breed.

What does CED mean in heifers?

CED (Calving Ease Direct): Predicts calving ease of a sire when mated to heifers. Expressed as difference in percentage of unassisted births, with a higher value indicating increased calving ease in first-calf heifers. (Trait reported in Angus, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Hereford, Limousin and Red Angus breed associations.)

How to select a bull for herd?

Always use multi-trait selection in your herd. In other words, when selecting a bull to use on your herds, don’t select that bull based on one trait, such as decreasing birth weights or increasing weaning weights. You must make sure you are selecting for more than one (or even more than two) traits when trying to improve your herd.

Do EPDs take a lot of reading?

No. EPDs take a bit of reading and understanding to get.

Can EPDs be compared?

EPDs from one breed association can be compared to those of another breed association if they are part of the International Genetic Solutions Multi-breed Genetic Evaluation powered by BOLT program. Breeds not participating in this program can be compared using USDA MARC Across Breed EPD tables.

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