Deriving Lactation Yields from Test Day Yields Adjusted for Effects of Lactation Stage, Age, Pregnancy, and Test Day Class

G. R. Wiggans,* P. M. VanRaden,* J. Bormann,† J. C. Philpot,* T. Druet,†,‡ and N. Gengler†,‡
*Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350 †Animal Science Unit, Gembloux Agricultural University, B-5030 Gembloux, Belgium ‡National Fund for Scientific Research, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium

ABSTRACT Lactation records for milk, fat, and protein yields were calculated from test-day data adjusted for the effects of lactation stage, age, previous days open, days pregnant, and test-day class (herd, test date, and milking frequency). These lactation records reflect the improved accounting of environmental effects from a test-day model and can be combined with historical lactation records. Test day data were adjusted with existing lactation multiplicative adjustments to maintain variance characteristics. Then, additive adjustments for lactation stage, age, previous days open, and days pregnant were applied. The current multiplicative adjustments for previous days open were not applied because its effect was expected to differ by lactation stage. To remove genetic differences, the estimated breeding value from the previous evaluation divided by 305 was subtracted. Effects of test-day class, and permanent environment within and across parities were estimated within herd. The effect of test-day class was subtracted from adjusted test-day yield, and the breeding value was restored. Those deviations then were combined with the best prediction procedure into a lactation measure. Heritabilities and repeatabilities of lactation records that were adjusted for test-day class were higher than for current lactation records. The adjusted records should improve the accuracy of evaluations and allow the use of test-day data as well as provide for the continued use of historical data when test-day data are not available.

(Key words: test-day model, genetic evaluation, yield traits)

Received September 4, 2001.

Accepted November 21, 2001.

Corresponding author: G. R. Wiggans, e-mail: wiggans@

1This article is in the public domain. It may be reprinted with the customary crediting of the source. Individuals may download, store, or print single copies solely for personal use.

2Full text available at the journal web site at