Where do your herd’s service sires rank?

 Resize text         Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Net Merit (NM$) is a tool that can be used on dairy farms when making sire selection decisions. NM$ estimates lifetime profit based on incomes and expenses relevant for today’s dairy producers. Traits included in NM$ are: fat (lb.), protein (lb.), productive life (mo.), somatic cell score, udder composite, feet/leg composite, body size composite, daughter pregnancy rate and calving ability ($). More information about NM$ is reported in a previous Michigan State University Extension News article.

NM$ and other genetic evaluations for production and health/fitness traits are updated three times each year in April, August and December. Beginning in April 2013, dairy genetic evaluations have been calculated by the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB). They are labeled USDA-CDCB. The CDCB is comprised of various segments of the dairy industry including artificial insemination (AI) organizations, DHIA (Dairy Herd Information Associations), dairy processing centers and breed registry associations.

The genetic merit of bulls marketed through AI organizations continues to improve with each release of updated genetic evaluations. Consequently, sire selection goals set by dairy producers a year ago may be outdated today.

The following table lists the NM$ values for various percentile ranking levels for each breed. Knowing where service sires rank relative to other active AI bulls is helpful in determining if the sires meet the herd’s genetic goals. To maximize genetic improvement using NM$ as your selection index, it is recommended that the service sires for your herd have an average at or above the 80th percentile.

NM$ levels of top percentiles for AI sires by breed. Aug. 2013 USDA-CDCB Sire Summary

 

 


Percentile Rank


60

70

80

85

90

95


Breed

  Net Merit $ Level

 


Ayrshire (19)a

265

271

283

336

349

378


Brown Swiss (36)

238

280

320

386

424

430


Guernsey (23)

179

235

301

362

417

456


Holstein (588)

414

452

496

526

560

596


Jersey (122)

322

354

393

424

442

473










 

a Number of bulls in the current active AI population for each breed are in parentheses.

Dairy producers can select from a growing number of service sires. The availability of genomic-tested young sires has increased significantly. To show the trends in the number of genomic-tested young sires being marketed in the past 4 years, data from the August genetic releases from 2010 to 2013 are listed below.

Year

Number Bulls

2010

493

2011

720

2012

920

2013

1,211

To ensure that a herd’s replacement heifers will be genetically superior, sire selection criteria should be reviewed and updated periodically. It is important to communicate these goals with semen sales representatives also.

Net Merit $ can be used as a key selection tool to identify high ranking service sires. Use the percentile ranking information to determine where your current group of service sires rank.



Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Roll-Belt™ 560 Round Baler

The New Holland's Roll-Belt 560 5'x 6' round baler delivers two elements producers ask for the most: higher baling capacity ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Leads to Insight