|CONTACT: Tom Schultz, Neogen Corporation, 517/372-9200
LINCOLN, Neb., Sept. 14, 2018 — Commercial beef producers will get more traits and selection index tools in the upgraded Igenity® Beef profile.
The Igenity Beef Profile will offer 16 traits for $29, replacing Neogen’s 13-trait Igenity Gold ($40) and 6-trait Igenity Silver ($25) tests. The upgrade includes new predictions for weaning weight, yearling weight and hot carcass weight for a total of 16 traits scored on a 1–10 scale, plus two new selection indexes.
“Our customers will be getting a powerful new profile at even greater value,” said Dr. Stewart Bauck, vice president of agrigenomics at Neogen. “The Igenity profile was designed and validated for crossbred or straightbred cattle with backgrounds of Angus, Red Angus, Simmental, Hereford, Limousin and Gelbvieh.
“Most DNA profiles are breed-specific,” Bauck continued. “The novel design of Igenity Beef allows for the accurate prediction of performance in both crossbred or straightbred cattle among the target breeds. This lets cow-calf producers use a DNA profile to select the best replacements from their crossbred heifers as well as their straightbred heifers.”
Using DNA testing in a crossbreeding program helps producers leverage the advantages of both practices. “The practices are complementary and can have a positive impact on the bottom line,” he said.
“The Igenity Beef Profile offers a more complete set of traits and tools for traditional weaned-calf marketing, retained feeder production or quality-grid programs,” Bauck said. “Producers also have a greater ability to customize the criteria they use to select the replacement heifers that will fit their marketing system,” he added.
Result reports include more how-to information and integrate with the Igenity Beef Dashboard to streamline decision making. “You can use the standard Igenity indexes, or in seconds you can create your own custom index and sort your heifers online,” he said.
“Using DNA to predict the merit of traits heifers will express — and pass on to their offspring — helps you manage risk and reduce the rate at which you replace cows. Each replacement heifer represents an investment of about $2,000 per head in cost of development and lost sale opportunity,” he said.
For many producers, a key economic driver is cow-replacement rate. “Igenity offers stayability predictions, which reflect the likelihood that a heifer’s offspring will calve over six seasons. A one-point increase in Igenity stayability score for a 250-cow herd represents an expected 48 fewer replacement heifers and gross savings of up to $96,000 over six years,” he said.
Igenity was introduced in 2003 and over its 15-year history has steadily improved in power and cost-efficiency, Bauck said. Neogen is also marking the 20th anniversary of its GeneSeek genomics operation. Neogen purchased GeneSeek in 2010 and the Igenity portfolio of products in 2012. Neogen’s world-leading position in animal genomics has led to investment in new labs, automation, capacity, work force and product diversity across the Americas, Europe and Australasia.
Neogen Corporation (Nasdaq: NEOG) develops and markets products dedicated to food and animal safety. The company’s Food Safety Division markets culture media and diagnostic test kits to detect foodborne bacteria, natural toxins, food allergens, drug residues, plant diseases and sanitation concerns. Neogen’s Animal Safety Division is a leader in the development of animal genomics along with the manufacturing and distribution of a variety of animal healthcare products, including diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, veterinary instruments, wound care and disinfectants.