Carcass Ultrasound 101: Ultrasound vs. DNA Testing: Carcass Tools, Not Choices

Patrick Wall, Director of Communications, The National CUP Lab

American Chianina Journal

At first glance, it might seem impossible for a person entrenched in ultrasound to publish any article about DNA testing without sounding biased toward ultrasound. Breeders often consider the two technologies as bitter rivals fighting for the same prize. However, a more in-depth look at each carcass tool reveals that ultrasound and DNA rarely compete directly with one another. Each technology can be aimed at the same genetic “question,” but give entirely different “answers.” Breeders and bull buyers alike need to be aware of what the results mean, not just what they say. In some cases, breeders may be spending money on technology for information their customers don’t want, and buyers may be placing unneeded emphasis on a trait that is not adding to their bottom line. Contrary to what some may believe, carcass ultrasound and current DNA technology can be harnessed together to assess the true genetic value of beef cattle.

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