A new genomic tool Alberta researchers are calling ancestry.com for cows, is now available for beef producers to use.

As of February 2017, a tool called EnVigour HX gives producers the ability to determine the sire, breed composition, and hybrid vigour score of a beef animal with 97 percent accuracy.

The tool was designed for beef producers to measure and utilize hybrid vigour to increase profitability in their herds and make breeding management decisions accordingly.

EnVigour HX was presented at the Cow- Forage Gentec Field Tour at the Lacombe Research Centre on August 22.

Speaker John Basarab, Senior Research Scientist at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, says increasing hybrid vigour is directly related to fertility, and results in increase yield grade and pre-weaning average daily gain.

"The tool is the service of taking a DNA sample, the hair from the animal, putting it in an envelope and sending it off to the lab, and they will give you the results. The results would be sire, some progeny you wanted to know, what the breed composition of an individual is, and what it's hybrid vigour score is."

If you are interested in the tool, contact Delta Genetics to send in hair samples. Through their research, they found a $161 per cow per year benefit because of the breeding decisions based on the information given by EnVigour HX.

One point of interest to note, is the tool was developed and researched right here in Alberta. EnVigour HX is the first genomic tool made in Canada for crossbred beef cattle.

John Basarab, Senior Research Scientist at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.

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