In February 2020, LIC released its new Single Step Animal Model (SSAM) which uses animal genomic information in a more efficient way; combining ancestry, phenotypic and genomic information all in one step. Not only does this improve the efficiency of LIC’s breeding scheme, but also delivers farmers with clearer information on the most profitable and efficient cows on farm for better breeding and culling decisions.
While NZAEL is also working towards implementing genomic information into its animal evaluation system, this won’t occur until February 2021 at the earliest. This means there are currently differences in outputs shown in NZAEL 2.0 and MINDA. In MINDA animal outputs now having a component of genomic information included for breeding values and breeding worth which will remain throughout the lifetime of an animal, including that of daughter proven bulls.
Rachel Bloxham, LIC’s Herd Improvement Technical Manager says, “The more cows that get genotyped, the more information we have, and the more accurate our predictions will become to ensure we continue to support breeding profitable and efficient cows that will convert feed into profit for dairy farmers now and for the future. The new model is perhaps the greatest step forward in animal evaluations since Breeding Worth was introduced in 1996 – it’s an exciting development.”