Overview of Progeny-Test Programs of Artificial-Insemination Organizations in the United States

H. D. Norman,* R. L. Powell,* J. R. Wright, * and C. G. Sattler†
*Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350 †National Association of Animal Breeders, Columbia, MO 66205-1033

ABSTRACT Characteristics of progeny-test (PT) programs of artificial insemination (AI) organizations in the United States were examined for changes since 1960. Mean number of bulls that were progeny tested annually by major AI organizations during the mid 1990s was 11 for Ayrshires, 24 for Brown Swiss, 21 for Guernseys, 1261 for Holsteins, 112 for Jerseys, and 3 for Milking Shorthorns. Mean parent age at progeny-test (PT) bull birth decreased except for Milking Shorthorns; mean age of maternal grandsire at bull birth decreased for Holsteins and Jerseys but increased for other breeds. For Holsteins, mean ancestor ages at PT bull birth were 85 mo for sires, 47 mo for dams, and 136 mo for maternal grandsires during the mid 1990s. Percentage of PT bulls that resulted from embryo transfer increased to 78% for Brown Swiss and 80% for Holsteins by 1999. Inbreeding in PT bulls increased over time and ranged from 3.8% for Brown Swiss to 6.4% for Jerseys (5.6% for Holsteins) during the mid 1990s. Mean numbers of daughters and herds per PT bull generally declined except for Holsteins, which increased during the early 1990s to 61 daughters and 44 herds. Mean number of states in which PT daughters are located increased; for Holstein PT bulls during 1994, 22% of daughters were in California, 13% in Wisconsin, 12% in New York, and 10% in Pennsylvania and Minnesota. Percentage of first-lactation cows that were PT daughters increased and ranged from 6% for Milking Shorthorns to 22% for Ayrshires (14% for Holsteins) during 1998. Percentage of PT daughters that were registered declined and was 19% for Holsteins and around 80% for other breeds.

(Key words: artificial insemination, generation interval, progeny testing, sire sampling)

2001 J. Dairy Sci. 84:1899-1912

© 2001, by the American Dairy Science Association. All rights reserved.