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Genetic Base Changes: January 2010

Kathy Lee
Extension Dairy Educator
Northwest Lower Michigan

The genetic base for U.S. genetic evaluations will be updated in January. Every 5 years the base is changed to adjust the predicted transmitting abilities (PTAs) for dairy animals (bulls, cows, heifers and calves) for the genetic progress that has occurred during the past 5 years. In January the base or reference population will change to cows born in 2005.

The average PTAs within each breed for cows born in 2005 will be zero, except for somatic cell score, calving ease, and stillbirth rate which are centered at breed average.

Genetic base changes do not change the relative ranking of animals or the genetic merit of the animals. Only the reference point for calculating PTAs changes.

The table (click to view) lists the expected base change in January 2010 for several traits. These values represent the genetic trend of these traits comparing average PTA of cows born in 2005 with cows born in 2000.

For a given trait and breed, PTAs will be reduced by the amount listed in the table when the genetic trend is positive. Conversely, the PTA change due to the base update will increase if the trend over the past 5 years has been negative.

A complete listing of genetic base changes for PTAs for production, health/fitness and type traits can be accessed at: http://aipl.arsusda.gov/reference/base2010.htm




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