Submitted to: World Congress of Genetics Applied in Livestock Production
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/11/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Estimates of genetic merit are used as both selection and marketing tools and, therefore, should predict the merit of future progeny as accurately as possible. Success depends on having an appropriate model and adequate data. Current US genetic evaluation systems for beef and dairy cattle rely on cooperation of several organizations to supply data for computing evaluations. General protocols for editing of performance and pedigree data and review of results from current genetic evaluation programs were documented for US beef and dairy cattle. Edits and data validation checks include animal identification and pedigree validation, performance record validation, and contemporary group validation. Animals with the largest changes in breeding value between previous and current analyses are identified. An evaluation's value depends on the confidence that users have in its reliability. A few individuals with unwarranted high evaluations can erode confidence in a genetic evaluation system. Continuing effort is underway to improve evaluation systems while coping with pressures from producers to reduce costs of data collection. Advances in technology provide some hope for reducing costs of data collection through automated animal identification and on-farm yield component determination. Reductions in cost of computing resources has enabled improvements in checking and availability of data and application of ever more realistic models, which allows breeders to continue to receive accurate evaluations while decreasing data collection costs.