In January of 2009, USDA released the first official genetic evaluations that included genomic information, says Bennet Cassell, Virginia Tech extension dairy scientist. In the months since, many dairy farmers have bred substantial numbers of cows in their herds to AI young bulls with high genetic evaluations.
“Genomic technology has put AI young sires with no progeny into a new category as herd improvers, as the improved accuracy of genomic predictions helps producers locate the better young sires for heavier use at a young age,” he says.
DRMS Raleigh changed the DHI 202 Herd Summary form to help dairy farmers keep track of how much they were using genomically tested young bulls.
AI service sires are divided into three categories:
- AI progeny tested: AI service sires that have daughters in their USDA proofs.
- AI genomic tested: AI service sires without daughters but with a PTA from genomic data.
- All other AI bulls: AI service sires without daughters and without a PTA from genomic data.
Source: April Dairy Pipeline, Virginia Tech