By Tabatha Cooper, George Wiggans, Paul VanRaden, and Dan Null
Exchange of genotypes with the Viking Genetics serving Denmark, Sweden, and Finland resulted in an average increase in reliability of 1.8 for young US animals as compared with previous genomic predictions from North American data. The observed increase was 2.4 when young Danish bulls were also predicted, indicating slightly larger benefits for pedigrees containing more Danish ancestors. The Bovine SNP50 BeadChip (50K) genotypes for 1,168 proven bulls provided by Viking were used in monthly updates beginning in January. Correlations between young animal evaluations with and without the Viking genotypes were near 0.99 for most yield and type traits but were 0.97 to 0.98 for the less heritable fitness traits. An exception was heifer conception rate with lower correlations in all breeds caused by a new edit implemented in January but announced in December. For all Jersey traits, means and SD of the predictions changed little, allowing fair and more accurate comparisons of new and previously evaluated animals.