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VQA Sire EPD Specifications Fall 2005 - Spring 2006

Livestock Update, November 2005

Scott P. Greiner, Ph.D. Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, VA Tech

With the heart of the bull-buying season now upon us, it may be time to review the genetic specifications for the Virginia Quality Assured Feeder Calf Program. VQA Purple Tag requirements include a specification that sires meet minimum yearling weight growth Expected Progeny Differences (EPD). Each calf's sire must meet breed-specific yearling weight EPD minimums to qualify for the Purple Tag. The intention of the sire growth EPD specification is document these calves have genetic potential for post-weaning growth performance that meets or exceeds the breed average for the breed of their sire. Research has demonstrated that feedlot profitability is highly related to cost of gain (cost to put on live weight or carcass weight), which is primarily a function of growth (ADG), feed efficiency, health, and feed costs. Post-weaning growth can be effectively enhanced through selection using Yearling Weight EPD.

The following table provides the breed minimum yearling weight EPD requirements for bulls born in Fall 2004 and Spring 2005 (applicable to bulls purchased fall 2005 and spring 2006). Calves sired by bulls with yearling weight EPDs greater than or equal to the minimums published are eligible for the purple tag. In the event a bull does not have a yearling weight EPD, weaning weight EPD is used as the specification. For specifications for bulls born previous to fall 2004, contact your local Virginia Cooperative Extension office or the Virginia Cattlemen's Association.

The VQA program has established a positive reputation as a source of high quality feeder cattle. This positive reputation has assisted many producers in adding value to their beef enterprise and is the result of several factors, including program standards for animal health, genetics, and best management practices.

VQA Purple Tag
Sire Minimum Yearling Weight EPD Requirements
Bulls Born Fall 2004 & Spring 2005
Breed (%) Minimum YW EPD Minimum WW EPD*
Angus +69 +37
Branvieh +8 +7
Charolais (PB and 15/16) +25 +15
Gelbvieh (PB) +73 +40
Gelbvieh (Balancer) +71 +35
Hereford +62 +37
Limousin +67 +35
Red Angus +53 +30
Salers +20 +13
Simmental (PB ) +51 +30
Simmental (1/2) +40 +20
*WW EPD only used if YW EPD not available

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