Traits including production, longevity and fertility were already part of the NVI merit index. GES will be expanding this formula from April to incorporate hoof health and feed efficiency. In addition, a parallel version of the NVI will be published.
Alongside the NVI for dairy breeds, the GES will now publish NVI calculations for dual-purpose breeds. The breeding value for longevity has also been revised, resulting in more stable breeding values and greater reliability.
Read all about the changes in the April indexrun in >>this article<<.read more ›
The buzzword in breeding – in addition to health and lifetime production – is feed efficiency, an aspect where the Netherlands leads the field. CRV collects feed intake data and the GES will publish the ‘feed costs for maintenance’ breeding value. According to CRV’s Gerben de Jong ‘This represents the next revolution in breeding after the use of genomics’.
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‘How efficiently a cow converts feed into milk is a key economic figure on a farm’, believes dairy farmer Jan Nieuwenhuizen. He has always been convinced that feed efficiency is hereditary. But until recently he had to estimate how well bulls would pass on this trait himself.
‘How is it possible that the daughters of one bull produce 10 kilos of milk more on the same feed ration than daughters sired by another bull?’ A question Jan Nieuwenhuizen has asked himself many times during his career in dairy farming. ‘Feed efficiency, the number of kilos of milk a cow produ…read more ›
Thanks to a database of 4350 cows, more – and more reliable – breeding values for feed efficiency can be calculated. As from April the breeding value for ‘saved feed costs for maintenance’ (SFCM) will be included in the NVI formula. The biased belief that breeding for efficiency results in smaller cows can be banished to the realm of fables.
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