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CDCB Connection                                                August 2020
In This Issue

August Evaluation System Changes

Click here for the summary of changes in August 2020 – including phenotypic base for calving traits, resulting adjustments in Net Merit $, and new inbreeding calculation procedure.

A Procedure to Better Account for Inbreeding Implemented in August

CDCB implemented an improved, highly efficient inbreeding calculation procedure with the August evaluations, which provides more current reference population and better accounts for additional ancestors and changing pedigrees. The effect of these changes is that the August versus April regressions on heterosis and inbreeding are more variable than in previous triannual runs.
Several traits - Milk, Fat, Protein, SCS, Productive Life and fertility traits, most noticeably – showed a more accurate, yet negative trend in August because of corrections for inbreeding and heterosis when converting the all-breed EBVs to within breed PTAs. With the lower trend in individual traits, a slight decrease in Net Merit values was also evident in August.
This was a change that occurred across all bulls and tended to have greater impact for younger animals (i.e. born after 2015), who may show a higher Expected Future Inbreeding (EFI) compared to their April results.
The new procedures are now included in unofficial weekly and official monthly evaluations. Said another way, all 84+ million animals receiving evaluations will undergo both heterosis and inbreeding updates at every evaluation. The “pool” of animals used for the inbreeding calculation will be kept more current than ever before, which is desirable; however, slightly higher variability from run to run can be expected.
Using an updated reference population for inbreeding calculation at every evaluation run will allow for a more precise correction of PTAs and provide more accurate results important for mating decisions.
While we see change in results for individual animals, keep in mind that the relative ranking of the animals is the key.

#ICYMI: How Concerned Should We Be About Inbreeding?
Duane Norman penned an article on inbreeding in the May 2020 CDCB Connection with observations about rate of inbreeding, trends and impacts of inbreeding and solutions to limit inbreeding increase. In case you missed it, click here.

Net Merit: Changes in Trait Weightings 

The trait weightings in Net Merit and other indices were adjusted with the August 11 evaluations, in connection with the new phenotypic base for calving traits. In the current Net Merit, there is one percent less weight on calving ability index (CA$), compared to pre-August.
The four calving traits – Sire Calving Ease, Daughter Calving Ease, Sire Stillbirth and Daughter Stillbirth – are included in Net Merit $ through a calving ability index (CA$). CA$ now has a lower standard deviation due to the new phenotypic base; therefore CA$ relative weight in the Net Merit formula changed from the previous 4.8% to 3.8% in August 2020. Consequently, the relative weighing of several other traits were redistributed at slight levels, which caused a slight re-ranking of some bulls and cows.

Calving Trait Changes
Calving trait evaluations now reflect the lower incidence of dystocia in U.S. dairy herds. The August 2020 evaluations for Sire Calving Ease, Daughter Calving Ease, Sire Stillbirth and Daughter Stillbirth were adjusted to reflect lower breed averages.
For explanation on the calving trait adjustments, view these CDCB references.

In the News: Calving Traits

Thanks to several publications and organizations that recently shared news about the changes in calving traits.

2021 Evaluation Schedule

The 2021 evaluation schedule is now published. View this link for complete details, including data exchange timelines and download availability.

Call for Jersey Research Proposals

The AJCC Research Foundation sponsors competitive research awards annually to fund projects addressing significant issues for the Jersey breed and Jersey milk producers. Since 1988 more than $1,000,000 has been provided in support of such research.
Research proposals are now being solicited for 2021 with a December 1, 2020, deadline. Click here for the Foundation’s priorities and submission details.

CDCB Board News

Jay Weiker has recently joined the CDCB Finance Committee, along with CDCB officers Neal Smith, Dan Sheldon and John Clay. Weiker fills the spot vacated by Chuck Sattler, whose Board term completed in April after several years of dedicated service to CDCB.
The next meeting of the CDCB Board of Directors is August 25-26, virtually. Members of the CDCB Board include:
Chair: Neal Smith, American Jersey Cattle Association
Vice Chair: Jay Weiker, National Association of Animal Breeders
Secretary: Dan Sheldon, Woody Hill Farms
Treasurer: John Clay, Dairy Records Management Systems
Lee Day, Amelicor
Robert Fourdraine, AgSource
Corey Geiger, Ran Rose Holsteins
Paul Hunt, URUS Group LP
Susan Lee, Idaho DHIA
Jay Mattison, National DHIA
Katie Olson, Ph.D., ABS Global
Lindsey Worden, Holstein Association USA, Inc
The CDCB Board represents the four collaborating sectors of the U.S. dairy industry, each having three seats on the Board: Dairy Records Providers, Dairy Records Processing Centers, National Association of Animal Breeders  and Purebred Dairy Cattle Association.

In the News

The CDCB team continues to engage with audiences around the world, demonstrating the leadership of the U.S. dairy genetic system. Most recently, CDCB Innovation Director Javier Burchard was interviewed by the periodical DLECHE, a popular digital platform for farmers and dairy professionals in Chile. With DLECHE’s focus on the challenges and benefits of the One Health approach, Burchard highlighted the remarkable impact of CDCB, by leveraging the world’s largest dairy database, cutting-edge research base and data analytical capacity to enhance U.S. and global dairy genetics, productivity, animal health and the environmental sustainability of food production. The interview was aired by radio La in mid-July with an audience of 1600 listeners, in addition to posting on YouTube and social media.

CDCB on YouTube

Have you subscribed to CDCB’s YouTube channel? Click here to view webinar recordings and CDCB event presentations. 
CDCB Core Value
Providing Premier Dairy Genetic Information Services & Industry Collaboration
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