Choice Genetics employs value-driven innovations that emphasize unique phenotypic traits to increase the accuracy of Estimated Breeding Values, bringing to market superior products. In the United States the EBX boar has led with value, and when innovation is in no short supply on our Research & Development team, you can imagine the progress we have made since the introduction of computed tomography (CT) technology. The addition of this tool to the genetic platform (scanning all males and females in our EBX (Pietrain) and XM (Duroc) lines at heavy North American market weights >275 lbs. (125 kg)) has allowed our team of experts to drive advancement in commercial pig total value at a rate faster than our competitors.
“For example, while we know the EBX boar is getting great field results today, we are able to make step-changing progress because of the precision of the CT improving the accuracy in the phenotype that we are using,” says Dr. Derek Petry, CEO and Global Director of R&D CGUSA. “We have incorporated this new technology to the indexes of the EBX and XM lines and will begin on the M2 and M3 maternal lines in 2015.”
The scanning program was launched in 2013 with the ability to scan 10,000 paternal line animals. With the addition of a second machine this year, the expectation will be 20,000 animals of paternal and maternal lines. CG will also install a third machine in China in 2015, with the ability to add an additional 10,000 animals, allowing a total of 30,000 animals per year, which is by far the largest scale operation in the world to improve the genetic response at a tremendous rate. So why estimate the phenotypic value of carcass composition (lean and fat accretion) in an animal when you can measure the true value? Data from several research projects, including internal data, had a correlation of 99% between the phenotype of the CT measurement and true primal carcass composition, as well as a high correlation to feed conversion (fig 1).
The results are in and how exciting they are! Our new index changes made in early 2014 are reflecting key changes we have seen using this CT technology. The genetic platform being used focuses on unique methodology for selection for feed efficiency, lean and fat accretion, and disease tolerance (fig 2 & 3).
While the EBX has shown how we deliver exceptional value, our CG32 female is also bringing a competitive advantage not seen before in North America. Our current performance results show that the CG32 competes very well amongst competitor females. The CG32 female will incorporate a unique phenotype to improve litter survivability and litter performance after weaning.
But this isn’t just about more pigs weaned, it’s about more quality pigs weaned, improved F:G, improved ADG and higher % of full value market pigs. Traditional methodology in female performance has been done by selecting on number born alive, total born, etc. The concept CG has adapted is selecting for number born alive above a threshold birth weight. Previous research has shown that as litters get bigger birth weight goes down, thus leading to a higher pre-wean mortality and poor performance in the grow out phase. Through extensive calculations, scientists at CG were able to determine a point of inflection along the curve of pre-wean mortality and feed conversion that will allow for selection to enhance both at the same time. This point of inflection is unique for each population we have in our library.
With Dr. Derek Petry at the helm of Choice Genetics Research and Development, our team is truly “Leading Innovation and Delivering Value”. Stay tuned to our website www.choice-genetics.com for the latest on how our global genes are driving our maternal performance advantages in 2015.