CDCB and USDA AGIL announced several minor adjustments to data edits and calculations for the next triannual evaluation, April 6, 2021. These modifications are made in the spirit of continuous improvement, to incorporate new findings and consistently produce the most accurate evaluations possible.
These changes are implemented for April 2021:
- Fertility traits editing update
- Feed Saved: Inclusion of Canadian data
- Cow Livability edits corrections
- New genomic inbreeding calculation method
- Parent average recalculation and revisions to evaluation workflow
- CDCB haplotype determination extended to Canadian population
- Clinical mastitis (CMA) introduced as independent international trait
- Heifer livability update in heritability
Net Merit to Stay Constant for April
The CDCB Board of Directors decided in January to continue to publish Feed Saved as an individual trait, with no impact for Net Merit and other CDCB indices in the short-term. Input from various groups was considered in this decision, including the CDCB Producer Advisory and Genetic Evaluation Methods committees and the NAAB Dairy Sire Evaluation Committee. While dialogue continues to determine the best approach to incorporate feed efficiency into the national selection indexes, there will be no changes to Net Merit in April.
Feed Saved Added to TPI Formula
Holstein Association USA has adjusted the Total Performance Index® (TPI®) Formula for April 2021, including Feed Saved and reflecting the value of feed utilization as the most important component of farm profitability.
The April 2021 change enhances HAUSA’s existing Feed Efficiency (FE$) formula by incorporating the new Feed Saved trait released by CDCB in December 2020. Feed Saved includes information based upon HAUSA’s Body Weight Composite and residual feed intake data gathered by CDCB from research herds. The economic assumptions used in the formula have been updated to match the most current research done by USDA-AGIL. Every pound of feed saved returns a net profit of eleven cents per cow per lactation.
Dr. Tom Lawlor, Holstein USA, points out that “a higher dollar value for the Feed Efficiency index reflects good feed utilization. It includes better utilization of the feed to produce extra pounds of milk, fat, and protein; feed saved from cows with a lower body weight and less maintenance costs; and feed saved from better feed conversion. This last part is known as residual feed intake (RFI), i.e., the difference in efficiency that we see between cows after accounting for the feed that goes into the maintenance of the cow and the production of milk.”