Almost 150,000 new animals with Milk data added to Evaluations

With the release of the new Dairy Genetic Evaluations, there has been a number of additional data added to the evaluation. Almost 150,000 new animals with milk data, over 414,000 calving surveys and over 88,000 animals with calving interval data have been added to this genetic evaluation. The addition of this phenotypic data is extremely valuable to the genetic evaluation system in Ireland and contributes directly towards increasing the reliability of the EBI figure for animals.

Genomics is continuing to drive genetic gain on the ground. As can be seen from the table below we are seeing continued accelerated progress since 2008 when genomics was introduced. This is resulting in better milk & fertility on the ground

An analysis of the top 75 bulls on the active bull list (Graph 1) shows that there is a very strong correlation (0.81%) between the February evaluation and the current August run. That being said there are a few outliers, most notably SEW

The major piece of SEW’s proof that has seen a drop is his milk sub-index figure. This figure has dropped €72. The reason for this can be clearly seen below. SEW has added 550 daughters to his milk proof for the first time. This in turn means that his milk figure is now based on a domestic proof instead of the previous GS blended proof. When SEW’s 550 daughters are compared to their 7125 herd mates, we can see that the SEW progeny have on average 170kgs less milk, 7kgs less fat and 5kg less protein. As a result SEW’s PTA for milk kgs has dropped from 174kgs to -206kgs and his PTA’s for Fat kgs and Protein kgs have dropped from 18.32kgs and 12.95kgs to 2kgs and -.5kgs respectively (see screenshot from Animal Search)

The table below shows an analysis of the Active bull list from 2013 and how their EBI figures compared then versus now.  It compares the top 6 Irish bred Holstein Friesian Genomically Selected (GS) bulls with the top 6 Irish bred Daughter Proven (DP-IRL) bulls. It clearly shows that while the GS bulls are back €39 (from €192 in 2013 to €153 in 2017), the DP-IRL bulls are back by €42!

The clear message is that while genomic and daughter proven bulls are back in EBI, the genomic bulls are still €26 more profitable than daughter proven bulls. This would equate to over €2,000 in the average 80 cow herd.

Table 1 below displays the comparison between the last time we did a full genetic evaluation (Feb ’17) and the current one (Aug ’17), for the top 75 active sires available in AI.  As can be seen from the data, the €15 drop in overall EBI is primarily due to the fall in Milk Sub index (down €13). This is the result of 140,000 new animals with milk data between the Dec 16 and Aug 17 (new 1st parity animals)

EBI Comparison – Top 75 Bulls on EBI; EBI Aug 17 vs Feb 17