Neogen Corp. recently announced that it has entered into a collaboration with International Genetic Solutions (IGS). The effort is focused on heightening genomic impact in the IGS platform, the only major multi-breed beef genetic evaluation available, and at the same time greatly enhancing the research and development necessary to continue to improve Neogen's Igenity Beef Profile.
According to the companies, the Igenity Beef Profile is the leading global genetic testing product that helps producers of both purebred and crossbred beef cattle select their best animals for breeding programs. IGS delivers the most credible, objectively described, user-friendly and science-based genetic predictions to enhance the profitability of beef cattle producers who look to leverage the full power of expected progeny differences (EPDs), they said.
"As part of this partnership, Neogen will benefit from access to information that will improve the Igenity Beef Profile, and IGS will endorse and promote the use of the product — an important 'seal of approval' from one of the largest genetic evaluation services in the world," Dr. Stewart Bauck, Neogen vice president of agrigenomics, said. "As the beef industry continues to face pressure from competing sources of protein, the Igenity Beef Profile is a valuable tool to help our customers remain efficient and profitable. Selecting the best animals for breeding programs is now absolutely critical. Each replacement heifer represents an investment of about $2,000 per head in cost of development and lost sale opportunity."
The beef cattle sector is an important part of Neogen's agrigenomics business, and the Igenity Beef Profile is a significant driver of the growth of the company's business in North America and globally.
"This collaboration with IGS provides the research that will drive product improvement and development for a number of years and will contribute to significant growth in revenue for this important cattle sector," Bauck said. "The Igenity Beef Profile was the first -- and remains the only -- globally available genomic selection tool proven to work in crossbred cattle."
The Igenity Beef Profile currently consists of genetically scoring animals on 16 maternal, performance and carcass traits, in addition to determining the animal's parentage. The profile is designed to help producers make confident decisions about heifers they retain and develop for their breeding herd. Some producers also use the profile in the production of high-value feeder calves and to score composite bulls.
Neogen recently enhanced its ability to serve the global animal genomics market by expanding its animal genomics laboratory services and bioinformatics to include locations in the U.S., Scotland, Brazil, Canada, China and Australia. Neogen primarily serves the beef and dairy cattle, pig, sheep, poultry and companion animal markets with its genomics services.