Terminology

BASE CHANGE – Genetic evaluations are required to be published with an updated genetic base every five years due to rapid genetic improvements. Basically, the index change is an adjustment to the Predicted Transmitting Abilities (PTA) of all animals to balance for genetic change; keeping PTAs from becoming extreme over time.

NM$ (NET MERIT)– Expected lifetime profit as compared to a breed base and is calculated by using yield traits, health traits, longevity and calving ease. Net Merit Dollars is best used for producers expecting protein premium differentials five years in the future of between 12¢ and 23¢ per 0.1% protein.

CM$ (CHEESE MERIT) – Similar to Net Merit, with a difference in the value placed on many of the traits. More emphasis is on protein yield with a negative value on milk yield. Cheese Merit Dollars is best for producers expecting protein premium differentials five years in the future of more than 23¢ per 0.1% protein.

FM$ (FLUID MERIT) – Similar to Net Merit, with a difference in the value placed on many of the traits. More emphasis is on milk yield and fat yield with a slight emphasis on protein yield. Fluid Merit is best for producers expecting protein premium differentials five years in the future of between 0¢ and 12.4¢ per 0.1% protein.

GM$ (GRAZING MERIT) - is geared toward herds on pasture systems, with those breeders often demanding higher fertility, compared to conventional systems, due to seasonal calving requirements.

PL (PRODUCTIVE LIFE)– A genetic ranking of a bull’s daughter’s total months in milk until she leaves the herd or 7 lactations whichever comes first. Credits are based upon standard lactation curves, With highest credits at the peak of lactation and diminishing credits across the lactation. Credit is now given for days beyond 305 days in a lactation. The standard is set such that a second lactation cow with 305 days in milk gets 10 months credit. First lactation gets less credit than later lactations. The heritability of PL is 8.5%.

DPR (DAUGHTER PREGNANCY RATE) – The percentage of non-pregnant cows that become pregnant during each 21-day period. A DPR of 1.0 implies that daughters are 1% more likely to become pregnant during a given 21 day estrus cycle than daughters of a bull with an evaluation of zero. An increase of 1.0 in PTA DPR equals a decrease of 4 days in PTA days open. Genetic base is all cows born in 2005.

SCS (SOMATIC CELL SCORE) – a genetic measure of a bull’s daughter’s average SCS across her lactation. Genetic base is 3.00 for all breeds. It is important to know that LOWER numbers are more favorable. The heritability of SCS is 12%.

SSCE (SERVICE SIRE CALVING EASE) – An estimation of the percent of difficult births for first-calf heifers. Calving Ease values are the average effect of male and female calves and average effect across season of calving. Genetic Base is all sires born in 2005, they average 7.9% for Holstein and 5.1% for Brown Swiss.

DCE (DAUGHTER CALVING EASE) – Measures the influence of the sire of the cow on calving ease. This evaluation represents a combination of the cow’s ability to calve easily and the cow’s propensity to have large calves. Genetic Base is all sires born in 2000, they average 9.3% for Holstein and 5.6% for Brown Swiss.

SSB (SIRE STILLBIRTH) – Evaluations are expressed as percent stillbirth in Holsteins, where stillbirth is defined as a calf born dead or dies within 48 hours of birth. The genetic base averages 8.0% sire stillbirth for dams of all ages.

DSB (DAUGHTER STILLBIRTH) – Measures the influence of the sire of the cow having the calf (daughter) on the livability of the calf being born. The genetic base averages 8.7% daughter stillbirth for dams of all ages.

GFI (GENOMIC FUTURE INBREEDING) – GFI is the future inbreeding coefficient of progeny using the expected homozygous loci from the actual genotypes as a result from genomic technology and not by pedigree expectations. Base population is all genotyped proven sires born in the last 10 years for Holsteins and for other breeds is all genotyped animals born in the last 10 years. The preferred lower GFI numbers mean that when the animal is mated to the base population, future progeny will have lower inbreeding.

EFI (EXPECTED INBREEDING OF FUTURE PROGENY) - One half the average relationship of an animal to a  sample of 1000 cows and heifers born in the last 4 years. This value is an indication of the mount that progeny of an animal will contribute to inbreeding in the population if mated at random. Higher numbers indicate more relationships-higher inbreeding. Lower numbers indicate less relationships-more outcross.

HCR (HEIFER CONCEPTION RATE) – Maiden heifer’s ability to conceive defined as percentage of inseminated heifers that become pregnant at each service; an HCR of 1 implies that daughters of this bull are 1% more likely to become pregnant as a heifer than daughters of a bull with an evaluation of 0.

CCR (COW CONCEPTION RATE) – Lactating cow’s ability to conceive defined as percentage of inseminated cows that become pregnant at each service; a CCR of 1 implies that daughters of this bull are 1% more likely to become pregnant during that lactation than daughters of a bull with an evaluation of 0.

TPI (TOTAL PERFORMANCE INDEX) – The Holstein Association’s method of ranking bulls on overall performance. Includes protein, fat, PTAT, dairy form, UDC, FLC, PL, SCS, DPR, DCE and DSB in the ratio of 27:16:10:-1:12:6:9:-5:11:-2:-1.

JPI™ (JERSEY PERFORMANCE INDEX) – The American Jersey Cattle Association’s method of ranking bulls on overall performance. Includes protein, fat, functional trait index, PL, DPR, functional udder index, and SCS, in the ratio of 40:20:15:12:7:3:3.

PPR (PROGRESSIVE PERFORMANCE RANKING)– This is the Brown Swiss and Milking Shorthorn breed’s method of ranking bulls on overall performance. Includes protein, fat, SCS, PL, UDC, FLC and DPR in the ratio of 44:18:-8:12:10:4:4.

PTI (PRODUCTION-TYPE INDEX) – Each breed association’s method of ranking bulls on overall performance.

Breed Traits Included Ratio 
Ayrshire Protein, Fat, PTAT, DPR, PTA, Udder Depth, SCS 27:25:25:6:5:4
Guernsey Protein, Fat, PTAT, UDC, FLC, PL, DPR, SCS, PTA Strength 25:25:10:10:10:10:3:-4:3

UDC (UDDER COMPOSITE)– An index that combines linear traits relating to the udder into one number. Traits used for Brown Swiss and Guernsey are UD, FU, FTP, RUH, RUW and UC. Holstein UDC adds rear teat placement but does not include teat length.

FLC (FOOT AND LEG COMPOSITE) –An index that  combines linear traits relating to feet and legs into one number. Traits used are FLS, FA, RLRV and RLS for Holstein. Brown Swiss uses FA and RLRV. Guernsey uses RLRV, FA and RLSV.

JUI (JERSEY UDDER INDEX)– An index that combines linear traits relating to the udder into one number. Traits used by Jersey are FU, RUH, RUW, UD, UC, TP and TL.

REL. (RELIABILITY) – a measure of the confidence in the PTA values. Reliability is calculated by the amount of information used in the evaluation. Information from the animal, parents and progeny are considered. Lower reliability means the PTA is more likely to change when a significant amount of information is added to the evaluation.

B/R (BLACK/RED GENE IN HOLSTEIN) – Bulls that have one Black/Red gene and one true Red gene are born red and turn mostly black at a young age, usually with red stripe down the back and red in the ears. On occasion, a black-red will remain mostly red. Black-red is dominant to red. A bull that has one Black/Red gene and one Black gene will be labeled *BR. A bull that has one Black-Red gene and one true Red gene will be labeled *BR*RC.

CVM (COMPLEX VERTEBRAL MALFORMATION)– A simple genetic recessive defect that is suspected to cause embryonic deaths, abortions and stillbirths, some with visible deformities. This condition is not new. It has been in the Holstein breed for over 40 years. What is new is the DNA test to detect carrier individuals. CVM, like BLAD and other genetic recessives, can be controlled by not mating carrier animals to other carrier animals. A *CV status indicates the bull is a carrier, *TV denotes noncarrier.

ACE (ACCELERATED CONCEPTION EVALUATION)– is a sire fertility index developed by Accelerated Genetics by collecting data from dairies across the United States. ACE uses a complex statistical model that accounts for both cow and environmental factors such as parity, number of inseminations, season of breeding, level of milk production, year of breeding, farm and days in milk; the response variable is sire fertility. The ACE sire fertility index is ranked on a scale of 1-5, 1=low fertility; 5=excellent fertility.

BETA-CASEIN –Beta-casein is a class of cow’s milk protein that may provide effects beyond nutrition, due to the release of biologically active peptides on digestion. Beta-casein may be present as one of two major genetic variants: A1 and A2. A2 Beta-casein is recognized as the original beta-casein protein because it existed before a mutation caused the appearance of A1 beta-casein in European herds a few thousand years ago. A2 Beta-casein is the preferred variant due to its health benefits.

KAPPA·CASEIN – One of four non-whey proteins and has been associated with increased protein yield and percentage. Animals carry one of three gene combinations from each parent. Studies from around the world have shown that the BB genotype is the most favorable in terms of protein and cheese yield. AB is somewhat intermediate and AA is the least favorable.