Across-Breed EPDs

As stated in the article "EPDs and \$ Indexes", you should never compare EPDs of bulls in different breeds. Each breed association has its own EPD calculations, using only its own animals, and with its own base point (the animals with an EPD average of zero). The averages and range of the EPDs will be different for each breed. A weaning weight EPD of +10 lbs might be above average for one breed but below average for another breed. (Note: the Simmental, Red Angus, Chianina, Maine Anjou, and Gelbvieh associations combine their data in one multi-breed evaluation. Therefore, EPDs from those breeds, including SimAngus and Gelbvieh Balancer, can be directly compared. But, the averages and range of the EPDs will be different for each breed.

However, researchers at the USDA's U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, Nebraska have developed adjustment factors which can be used to estimate across-breed EPDs. You would add the adjustment factor in the table to the animal's EPD from its breed association, to give you its across-breed EPDs. These across-breed EPDs can be directly compared to each other.

For example, suppose the EPD for yearling weight for a Red Angus bull is +90.0 lbs, and for a Hereford bull is +92.0 lbs. Just looking at the numbers, you might think that the Hereford bull is superior for yearling weight, and would sire calves with higher yearling weights. The across-breed adjustment factors for yearling weight are -28.5 lbs for Red Angus and -41.8 lbs for Hereford. Therefore, the across-breed EPD for the Red Angus  bull is 90.0 - 28.5 = 61.5 lbs, and for the Hereford bull is 92.0 - 41.8 = 50.2 lbs. You can directly compare there two across-breed EPDs. The Red Angus bull has a higher across-breed EPD, and if they are both mated to cows of another breed, you would expect the Red Angus bull to sire calves which are 61.5 - 50.2 = 11.3 lbs heavier as yearlings than the Hereford bull.

The 2022 across-breed EPD table is available online (the example in the previous paragraph comes from this article).

Read also the article Comparing EPDs Across Breeds from the Angus Beef Bulletin.