Gary Watson, NI Rep UK Genetics Advisory ForumThe broad purpose of the Genetic Advisory Forum (GAF) is to make more money for UK dairy farmers from genetic improvement. The forum is made up of a cross section of industry and farmers with representation from milk recording agencies, Breed Societies and AI Companies among others. The forum reports on current genetic trends and is currently discussing a review of the PLI, mainly due to the increasing input costs and milk price rise since 2007.

One of the newer tools currently being offered by DairyCo and the milk recording agencies is the Herd Genetic Summary (see Figure 1). An extract of the summary shown below for the Future Herd demonstrates that the average PLI for the herd is £63.5, with a PTA (Predicted Transmitting Ability) for Butterfat of 0.14% and Protein of 0.08%. The breeding team at CAFRE then use this information in order to choose breeding sires for the herd. Typically they would use this information along with that for the fitness traits to choose sires with e.g. PLI >£150, Butterfat >0.14% and Protein >0.08%.  By choosing sires with PTA’s in excess of these figures, the herd will continue to make genetic progress, which ultimately means more profit from the herd. 

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

9

Grand Total

Count of CowNo

33

31

32

14

8

6

4

1

129

Average of £PLI

78.3

64.3

75.5

75.6

30.9

-7.7

-6.8

-38.0

63.5

Average of Bfat (%)

0.16

0.11

0.15

0.22

0.11

0.10

0.12

0.08

0.14

Average of Prot (%)

0.08

0.06

0.08

0.12

0.08

0.07

0.08

0.02

0.08

 

A more in depth look at the Herd Genetic Summary, and how to use it to choose service sires will be demonstrated at the PLI for Profit Conference on 18th October in the Glenavon Hotel, Cookstown.


The nominal charge of £10 includes lunch. To ease catering on the day conference places must be booked in advance through AgriSearch, tel; (028) 8778 9770 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

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