Neogen Corporation recently announced the availability of new genomic tests that offer commercial dairy producers essential information on the genetic potential of replacement dairy heifers — at a significantly lower cost. Merck Animal Health will market these new testing options as part of the strategic agreement between Merck and Neogen.
Neogen's revised Igenity-Select and new Igenity-Essential testing options are the latest additions to the Igenity Dairy Heifer Program, which reveals an animal's genetic potential well before breeding. The new tests use an improved low-density chip with new custom content, and are available at costs that will allow dairy producers to gain a greater return on investment from wider use of heifer genomic profiling.
"The development of the new tests are the result of feedback we received from commercial dairymen who expressed the need for more convenient and cost-effective genomic assessment of their animals during times of low milk prices," said Neogen's Dr. Stewart Bauck. "With the key content needed for an accurate genomic evaluation, the new tests are streamlined products for the specific purpose of genomic testing in heifers. If you are a commercial producer and want a solid genomic assessment without all of the add-on content for defects and milk components, these are the products for you."
The new Igenity tests can be performed soon after a calf is born, and represent another tool in the decision-making process for breeding and heifer selection. The new lower cost options include:
Igenity-Select. The Igenity-Select test is powered by Neogen's improved low-density chip with new custom content validated and tested by the USDA-AGIL, and provides USDA-CDCB results consisting of an evaluation of a heifer on over 45 select traits for under $40 per test.
Igenity-Essential. This test uses the same improved low-density chip as Igenity-Select, but doesn't require a dairyman to provide the information necessary to nominate an animal for the USDA program. Igenity-Essential's results are ideal for simple heifer sorting, and include an evaluation on 15 essential traits.
In addition to the new tests, the Igenity Dairy Heifer Program also includes the upgraded Igenity-Elite product with nearly 150,000 gene markers, the most powerful and complete tool for official genomic evaluations — ideal for donor dams and sire candidates. It also features Igenity-Prime, which provides more than 26,000 genetic markers needed for an accurate genomic evaluation from the USDA-AGIL, plus the add-on content for assessment of defects and milk components. For more information, please visit www.neogen.com, or contact your local Neogen or Merck Animal Health representative.
Results from genomic tests can deliver highly reliable genomic projections on several different variables. This includes health traits such as net merit, pregnancy rate, productive life in months and somatic cell score. It also includes yield traits, such as an animal's milk in fat pounds, fat percentage, protein pounds and protein percentage.