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Multiple-Trait Prediction of Transmitting Abilities for Herd Life and Estimation of Economic Weights Using Relative Net Income Adjusted for Opportunity Cost

Journal of Dairy Science
American Dairy Science Association
DOI: 10.3168/jds.s0022-0302(95)76675-9
  • Genetics And Breeding
  • Economics
  • Mathematics


Abstract Genetic and phenotypic (co)variances among linear type traits, final score, first lactation milk and fat yield, and 84-mo totals for longevity, relative net income, and relative net income adjusted for opportunity cost of postponed replacement were estimated with a multiple-trait sire model. Data were from 433,116 cows in herds participating in the classification program for conformation traits of the Holstein Association of America. Yield information from all cows in classified herds indicated that classified cows are not a random sample. Heritability of net income adjusted for opportunity cost was higher, .17, than unadjusted net income, .12, but the genetic correlation between the estimates of net income was high, .97. Adjusted net income also had high genetic correlations with first lactation milk yield, .80; fat yield, .60; and dairy form, .48. Heritability of longevity (months in milk to 84 mo) was .06. Adjustment of net income for opportunity cost lowered the genetic correlation with longevity from .84 to .70. Evaluation of lifetime merit using traits measured during first lactation with economic weights developed using adjusted net income was more accurate than indirect prediction of longevity; the approximate reliability of a first-crop AI sire for lifetime merit was .65 compared with .42 for longevity.

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