New sire summary numbers will be released on Tuesday, December 2nd and with that information comes a whole host of changes!  Here’s what you need to know to be prepared:

* The Net Merit (NM$) index and three breed indexes will be revised
* The base change will alter Predicted Transmitting Abilities (PTAs)
* The Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) will now release weekly genomic predictions for newly genotyped animals

Net Merit and more
“The TPI formula that debuts in December will have an added emphasis on production with the increase seen mainly in the inclusion of a new feed efficiency index,” said a recent article that appeared in HotSpots magazine.  (Formula Changes Afoot in December 2014).  “This new index calculates the ‘dollar value of milk produced’ then subtracts ‘feed costs of the extra milk’ and ‘extra maintenance costs.’  The FE index will now comprise 3 percent of the total formula and room was made by dropping PTAT from 10 to 8 percent and dropping selection emphasis for udders from 12 to 11 percent.”

“Also part of the TPI revision will be the new fertility index which now consists of three parts: heifer conception rate (HCR), cow conception rate (CCR) and daughter pregnancy rate (DPR).  The breed has made progress with fertility in the last 15 years, especially within the last decade, and by raising the fertility emphasis from 11 to 13 percent, Holstein Association USA hopes to see that positive progress accelerate.  Room for the extra emphasis was found by taking 2 percent from Productive Life, now weighted at 7 percent.”

There will also be more emphasis placed on Fat and Protein yield and less emphasis on Somatic Cell Score, body size and Productive Life in the new formulas.  A new merit index, Grazing Merit (GM$), is being introduced for herds on pasture-based systems and herds that require high fertility for seasonal breeding.  GM$ will not be published in sire directories, but will be available on Select Sires’ website.
By the numbers
2010 TPI formula: 42% production, 33% health & fertility, 25% type
2014 TPI formula: 46% production, 28% health & fertility, 26% type

2010 NM$ formula: 35% production, 48% health, 17% type
2014 NM$ formula: 45% production, 40% health, 15% type

New fertility index: 18% HCR + 18% CCR + 64% DPR

New feed efficiency index: -17% Milk + 30% Fat + 45% Protein – 8% Body Size

Other breed changes
The American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA) will be updating their Jersey Performance Index (JPI).  In this revised formula, CCR and HCR are now included, each with 2 percent weight.  DPR (down 3 percent) and PL (down 2 percent) receive slightly less weight and Protein (up 1 percent) slightly more.

The Progressive Performance Ranking (PPR) changes in the Brown Swiss breed, and will now emphasize DPR (4 percent to 10 percent) more and PL (12 percent to 10 percent) and SCS (8 percent to 4 percent) less.  The new Brown Swiss UDC formula places much more weight on fore udder attachment, rear udder height & width and udder cleft.  Less weight will be placed on udder depth and teat placement.
Weekly updates
In mid-November, CDCB began calculating weekly preliminary genomic predictions by processing only newly genotyped animals and using estimates from the last official evaluation.  Reliabilities and genomic inbreeding will not be included in these weekly estimates.

In summary
All-in-all, the new rankings coming next week will see animals with higher transmitting abilities for production (milk, fat and protein) do a little better than animals who are stronger in conformation and PL rankings.

“The Net Merit revisions will produce ranking gains for individuals that have outstanding production numbers, especially if they are more ‘average’ in traits being reduced such as SCS or DPR.  With the heavier emphasis on Milk and Fat Yields, animals that had high NM$ rankings but were only average in milk and fat numbers will probably drop back relative to others.


7HO12165 Bacon-Hill MONTROSS is a high NM$ and production sire that will see minimal change to his numbers based on the new index system.
8/14 GTPI 2541
12/14 GTPI 2538
(Source: HotSpots)


Holstein USA Webinar: December 2014 TPI® & Base Change
Holstein USA Webinar: December 2014 TPI® & Base Change

As Tom Lawlor of Holstein USA puts it, “The advantage of using a selection index, such as the TPI formula, is that you can make improvement in several traits at the same time.”  As our breed improves and develops, so will the formulas that provide us with a system of ranking all animals.

Next week will hold many new changes, and based on the work done ahead of time, those changes will accurately reflect the new look of a profitable dairy cow. For more information: Tune in to Tom Lawlor’s presentation on You-Tube that discusses these changes in more detail.

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