Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Animal Science
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 30, 2009
Publication Date: November 18, 2010
Citation: Norman, H.D., Hubbard, S.M., Van Raden, P.M. 2010. Dairy Cattle: Breeding and genetics. Encyclopedia of Animal Science, 2nd edition. Pond, W.G., and Bell, A.W. (editors). Taylor and Francis, New York, NY. pp. 262-265.
Five primary factors affect breeding genetically improved dairy cattle: 1) identification, 2) pedigree, 3) performance recording, 4) artificial insemination, and 5) genetic evaluation systems (traditional and genomic). Genetic progress can be measured as increased efficiency (higher performance with fewer animals). Knowledge of differences in genetic merit of dairy populations resulted in a global marketplace for germplasm and live animals, which led to calculation of international genetic evaluations. Selection indexes in which genetically evaluated traits are combined according to economic value are used by nearly all countries that calculate genetic evaluations.