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J. Dairy Sci. 86:2721-2724
© American Dairy Science Association, 2003.

Technical Note: Detection and Adjustment of Abnormal Test-Day Yields

G. R. Wiggans, P. M. VanRaden and J. C. Philpot

Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service USDA, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350

Corresponding author:
G. R. Wiggans; e-mail:

A method to detect and to adjust or exclude abnormally low or high milk, fat, and protein yields on test-day (TD) was developed. Predicted TD yield is calculated based on preceding and subsequent (if available) TD yields. Observed TD yields that are <60% or >150% of predicted TD yield are defined as abnormal. Most abnormal yields are adjusted to this floor or ceiling, but some are excluded. Yields of <4.5 kg that are identified as from a cow that was sick or that are less than half the mean of adjacent tests are excluded as are yields of >59 kg above predicted yield. Lactation yields are calculated from the restricted TD yields. When this procedure was applied to 2002 data, 1.8% of milk, 2.4% of fat, and 1.6% of protein yields on TD were below the acceptance range and 0.1% of milk and protein and 0.8% of fat were above. Predicted TD yield was calculated as preceding TD yield plus preceding test interval multiplied by daily yield change (slope) based on days in milk (DIM), DIM2, previous normal TD yield, and interaction between DIM and previous TD yield. To accommodate changes in slope at peak yield, separate coefficients were estimated for <50 and >=50 DIM. Herd mean was used when only one TD was recorded for a cow (or when two were recorded and the second was designated as abnormal based on the first) and to determine an acceptable range for component percentages. Predicted TD yield for first TD was based on subsequent rather than previous normal TD. To test the adjustments, lactation records with one abnormal TD yield or more were matched with subsequent lactation records. Correlation between consecutive lactations increased from 0.692 to 0.693 for milk (561,063 lactation pairs), from 0.653 to 0.660 for fat (951,387 lactation pairs), and from 0.686 to 0.694 for protein (488,653 lactation pairs). Outlier adjustment improved the correlation between consecutive lactation yields and is applied routinely to TD records of cows for calvings since 1997.

Key Words: test day · abnormal yield · outlier detection · yield adjustment

Abbreviations: TD = test day

Copyright © 2003 by the American Dairy Science Association.