JDS Track the topics, authors and articles important to you
QUICK SEARCH:   [advanced]
Year:  Vol:  Page: 
Full Text of this Article
PDF Version of this Article
Interpretive Summary
Similar articles found in:
JDS Online
Search PubMed for articles by:
Hare, E. || Wright, J. R.
Alert me when:
new articles cite this article
Download to Citation Manager
J. Dairy Sci. 87:2743-2747
© American Dairy Science Association, 2004.

Duration of Herd Participation in Dairy Herd Improvement Milk Recording in the United States

E. Hare, H. D. Norman and J. R. Wright

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

Corresponding author: E. Hare; e-mail: lhare@aipl.arsusda.gov.

Participation in milk-recording programs that provide data for national genetic evaluations of dairy cattle in the United States is voluntary, but the effectiveness of the evaluation system increases with the number of herds that contribute data. To investigate patterns of herd participation in Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) testing, periods of continuous testing were computed based on the year that a herd initiated or terminated testing and by geographical region. Continuous testing was defined as at least one test per 6-mo period. Some herds discontinued testing and then re-enrolled. Across all years (1960 through 2002), 65% of herds had one period of continuous testing (no testing lapse). The percentage of herds with testing lapses decreased as the number of lapses increased and as the initial test year became more recent; overall, only 1.5% of herds had more than 6 continuous testing periods. For herds that terminated DHI testing from 1960 through 2002, 64% were on continuous test for <3 yr. In general, herd frequencies decreased as continuous test period increased except for continuous testing of ≥20 yr, which increased to 13% for years 2000 to 2002. Herds with more recent termination dates had remained on continuous test longer, and one-third of herds that were still on test after June 2002 had been on test for at least 20 yr. The duration of herd participation was longest for the northeastern and mideastern United States and shortest for the southeastern United States. Multiple periods of testing with lapses of >6 mo between test periods represent a loss of data that could have enhanced the study and evaluation of genetic characteristics of US dairy cattle.

Key Words: Dairy Herd Improvement · milk recording · herd participation

Copyright © 2004 by the American Dairy Science Association.