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Changes to evaluation system (April 2015)

Sire conception rate and calving traits for all bulls

By Joao Durr and Duane Norman

In December 2014, the CDCB assumed the following data flow payments to the dairy records processing centers (DRPC). These include payment for Records in Progress (RIPs), Calving Ease (CE) Stillbirth (SB), and Breeding records. Bulls from organizations not previously participating in Sire Conception Rate (SCR) will start having their evaluations published in April 2015. Some bulls from organizations not previously participating in Calving Ease (CE) will start having evaluations published in April 2015, and even more in August 2015. Animals will continue to receive genomic evaluations for Calving Ease (CE) and Cow and Heifer conception rate using all data, similarly to what is done for all other traits.

Brown Swiss haplotype for polled

By Paul VanRaden and Dan Null

A Brown Swiss haplotype for polled (BHP) was developed using nearly the same methods as for Holstein (HHP) and Jersey (JHP) haplotype tests. Animals known to be heterozygous or homozygous polled and progeny tested bulls not reported to be polled act as the data, allowing polled status for all other animals to be imputed by tracing haplotypes. Most polled BS have the same haplotype and pedigrees tracing to BSUSA000000183024 MEADOW VIEW RENDITION NP, born 1985. All 10 of the known foreign polled bulls had the same haplotype as RENDITION, but some US families had different inheritance and haplotypes. The main BHP haplotype differs from the HHP and JHP haplotypes. The HHP and JHP haplotypes trace inheritance of both the Celtic and Friesian haplotypes within both of those breeds. Laboratory testing of a Brown Swiss bull homozygous for the main BHP haplotype revealed that he was homozygous for the Celtic mutation, and thus most polled Brown Swiss probably contain the Celtic mutation. By including the status of known polled animals as data, their polled haplotypes should also be traced accurately to progeny. As of February 2015, 18,558 Brown Swiss were genotyped, 152 were heterozygous BHP, and 4 were homozygous polled. The Brown Swiss Association, Dan Gilbert, Lucas Casanova, Zoetis, and CDCB provided data for this research.

Productive life standard deviation

By Paul VanRaden

During the December 2014 base change, productive life (PL) genetic standard deviations (SD) for other breeds were adjusted to match the Holstein SD, but should not have been because herd variance adjustments are not applied to that trait. Removal of this SD adjustment will cause the April genetic SD of PL for other breeds to return to their August 2014 SD. This error was detected in September 2014 but too late to fix for December 2014 because data from the new software had already been sent to the Interbull test run and could not be revised until the January test run. The PL SD for most breeds will change by about 10%, but no animals changed in rank for PL, and Holsteins were not affected by the error. Other small corrections from December are that Milking Shorthorns evaluations for PL, heifer conception rate (HCR), and cow conception rate (CCR) were incorrectly converted to and from the Red Dairy Cattle (RDC) base in December multitrait across country evaluations (MACE) but are correctly converted in April, and the precision of adjustments for heterosis and inbreeding are improved. Previously the regression coefficients had been rounded too much when stored. This improves the precision of HCR and CCR evaluations for crossbred animals and Montebeliarde bulls by a few tenths of a percent.