December 28, 2020


Neogen introduces new product for stockers and backgrounders in beef supply chain



Neogen recently launched Igenity Feeder, which offers genomic testing to an entirely new audience, the company announced last month.


With Igenity Feeder, another segment of the beef supply chain, stockers and backgrounders, now have the opportunity to maximise their production with a test unique to their needs.


After several years and increasing industry awareness, the Igenity Terminal Index (ITI) is now available as a deliverable in Igenity Feeder, which targets the unique needs of cattle producers in the stocker and backgrounder phase. Many producers use Igenity testing to make breeding and culling decisions as they develop their herds long term. However, stockers and backgrounders have a much shorter time frame as they prepare their calves for feedlots.


Measuring genetic potential helps producers make better decisions in the care, nutrition and marketing of their feeder calves. DNA testing offers insight into each animal's ability to perform at the feedlot level, helping producers manage risk and prove value. Producers on both sides of the chain can use the genomic information to rank and group cattle according to their genetic potential for carcass traits, Neogen explained.


"Igenity Feeder provides producers the ability to sort and rank feeder cattle according to their genetic predisposition to perform within the feedlot," said Dr. Jamie Courter, Neogen's beef product manager. "Driven by many economically relevant traits such as hot carcass weight, rib eye area and marbling, the ITI is proven to help differentiate profitability in a feedlot setting."


Igenity Feeder leverages the ITI and growth profiling information from thousands of commercial fed cattle into an accurate genomic tool to help producers' sort cattle and enhance profitability. Combined with an animal's enrollment weight and sex, this provides a new opportunity to group similar animals by predicted outcomes and market them together.


"When Igenity Branded was first launched, it made perfect sense to qualify steer calves for the programme based on the genetic potential of heifers within the same calf crop," said Dr. Courter. "While that information is useful, Igenity Feeder not only provides the seller with the ability to group lots of cattle with increased uniformity, but it also gives a buyer insight into the future performance on an individual animal basis."


At this stage of cattle production, buyers typically make purchases based on producers' reputations and subjective traits like coat color. By scoring their calves genetically, stockers can show each animal's efficiency and value and build their buyers' confidence.


This genomics solution offers tangible value at an affordable rate for producers who haven't had genetic testing designed for their needs available, Neogen said.


- Neogen