Performance Data

From the latest EPDs to genomic information, ABBA equips cattle producers with data they need to be successful.

EPDs Defined

Expected Progeny Differences, EPDs, are the basis for beef cattle selection. Today’s ranchers rely on a wide variety of measures, indexes and genomic tools to continue raising the bar for herd genetics. 


An EPD is the prediction of how future progeny of an animal will perform; specifically, EPDs predict the genetic transmitting ability of an animal to their offspring. EPDs are expressed as units of measure for the trait, plus or minus the average of the animal’s group.


Here’s a refresher on EPD definitions.

The birth weight (BW) EPD is an indicator of birth weight and calving ease.

The weaning weight (WW) EPD reflects pre-weaning growth potential.

Yearling weight (YW) EPD reflects differences in the 365-day adjusted yearling weight for progeny. It is the best estimate of total growth.

A prediction of weaning weight differences due to milk and maternal ability of the dam. For a sire, the Milk EPD predicts the maternal ability of his daughters expressed in pounds of calf weaned. Milk EPDs do not specifically predict pounds of milk produced, but pounds of calf weaned due to maternal production of the dam. It predicts the difference in average weaning weight of sires’ daughters’ progeny due to milking ability.

The Ribeye Area (REA) EPD reflect differences in ribeye area measures based on actual carcass measurements of harvested progeny. Sires with relatively higher REA EPDs are expected to produce better muscled and higher-percentage-yielding slaughter progeny than sires with lower REA EPDs.

Intramuscular Fat Percentage (% IMF) reflect differences in marbling score based on actual carcass measurements of harvested progeny. Breeding cattle with higher % IMF EPDs should produce slaughter progeny with a higher degree of intramuscular fat, and therefore, higher quality grades.

Expressed as a difference in weaning cattle temperament, with a high value indicating more favorable docility. It predicts the average difference of progeny from a sire in comparison with another sire calves.

Frame Size vs Profitability

Determining Accuracy

Accuracy for an EPD may range from 0.0 to 1.0. As the accuracy approaches 1.0, the EPD is more reliable and changes less as data is accumulated in the future. 


Accuracy can be rated as follows:

LOW – 0.0 to 0.50
MEDIUM – 0.50 to 0.75
HIGH – 0.75 and above

Understanding Indexes

Genetic selection indexes guide beef producers when making selection decisions. By combining certain EPDs and weighted traits, index values can help pinpoint a specific direction within the cow herd. 


ABBA offers the following indexes bulls and females.

$Bull Index


A terminal index focused on selling animals through grid pricing with carcass weight weighted most heavily of all traits. There is a considerable positive correlation to frame score and all weight traits, meaning animals selected using this index will tend to be larger framed, growthier animals. 


This index identifies cattle that have low birth weight (BW), good calving ease (CE) and a good spread from BW to weaning weight (WW). The $BULL index also includes scrotal circumference and docility, with moderate carcass influence on the index.


The goal of this index is to identify cattle that would work well to produce bulls that could be marketed easily to commercial or purebred breeders.

Queen Index


maternal index focused on a balanced approach to cow selection. Frame score, milk and back fat have no correlation, meaning that selecting replacement heifers using this index will not increase the mature size of the herd or impact milk production. 


Scrotal circumference, docility and calving ease are weighted more heavily than in the $BULL index since these traits are indicators of puberty and manageability. 


In summary, the QUEEN index is an indication of ideal cattle to be raised for replacement heifers.