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Powell, R. L. || Norman, H. D.
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J. Dairy Sci. 87:2621-2626
© American Dairy Science Association, 2004.

Accuracy of Foreign Dairy Bull Evaluations in Predicting United States Evaluations for Yield

R. L. Powell, A. H. Sanders and H. D. Norman

Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory, ARS, USDA, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350

Corresponding author: R. L. Powell; e-mail: rpowell@aipl.arsusda.gov.

Combining foreign daughter data with domestic information in dairy bull genetic evaluations has been shown to improve prediction of future domestic evaluations for US bulls. This study focused on the accuracy of Interbull evaluations of bulls with only foreign daughters, in predicting the latest domestic evaluations (based on US daughters). August 2003 USDA evaluations based only on US daughters were matched with the most recent February or August Interbull evaluations without US daughters. A minimum reliability of at least 80% for yield and 70% for somatic cell score (SCS) was required in both evaluations. This provided pairs of evaluations based on different daughters (foreign or US) for 286 bulls (60 bulls for SCS). Mean Interbull reliabilities on the US scale were 88% for yield and 84% for SCS, and the mean US reliability for the current evaluations was 91% for yield and 80% for SCS. Correlations between the Interbull and domestic evaluations were 0.90, 0.87, 0.90, and 0.87 for milk, fat, protein, and SCS respectively. Expected correlations were 0.89 for yield and 0.82 for SCS. Mean differences between the Interbull and current domestic evaluations were near zero. These foreign bulls had graduated from progeny test programs (selected for positive Mendelian sampling) before being marketed in the United States. Thus, parent average was a substantial underestimate of merit. The small average differences between evaluations from foreign and US daughters and high correlations indicate that Interbull evaluations based solely on foreign daughters are useful predictors of the US evaluations for yield and SCS, providing accuracy in agreement with reliabilities and much better estimates than the alternative, parent averages.

Key Words: Interbull · sire evaluation

Abbreviations: ASI = Australian selection index · PA = parent average · REL = reliability

Copyright © 2004 by the American Dairy Science Association.