What do we need to know?


  • Jason B. Osterstock Zoetis, 333 Portage St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007



bovine, genomics, genetics, genotyping


Use of genetic testing as an adjunct to traditional selection methods is becoming increasingly common. Today, the ratio of female-to-male genotyped Holstein cattle in the USDA Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding dairy genetic evaluation is 5 to 1. Producers are using this information to inform mating, heifer culling, and allocation of advanced reproductive technologies such as sexed semen, embryo transfer, and in vitro fertilization. The motivation to do so is not merely interest in new technology, but the impact that genomic data can have on the efficacy of genetic selection strategies, ultimately improving the rate of genetic progress and profitability. Veterinarians have an opportunity to be a part of this discussion, particularly because they actively manage so many ofthe non-genetic elements that influence the ability to design, implement, and benefit from genomically-enhanced selection. Importantly, the discussion around genomic technologies need not be complex. Sufficient context and understanding can be gained with just a few key concepts including common strategies, the impact of reliability on selection, and the logistics of dairy genetic evaluation systems.






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