The Interbull Steering Committee (SC) held a web-phone conference on December 9, 2013, and this is the summary of the decisions.
January and April 2014 runs calendar
The same calendar used in the September 2013 test run for MACE and GMACE will be adopted in the January 2014 test run, postponing the implementation of sequential runs to September 2014. The service calendar with detailed information on the 2014 January test run is available at: https://wiki.interbull.org/public/Mace_InterGen_calendar?action=print
New research agreement between CDN and the Interbull Centre
The SC approved the establishment of a research agreement between the Canadian Dairy Network (CDN) and the Interbull Centre in which both partners will co-operate to develop, enhance and streamline operations for the Interbull international genomic evaluations (GMACE) which are provided to the ICAR members by the Interbull Centre. CDN will provide technical support to the Interbull Centre staff during the period of the project, especially during periods of official international genomic evaluations (GMACE).
Service fee update
During the meetings in Nantes (August 2013), the Steering Committee (SC) requested the Interbull Centre to present a new proposal to fund the additional services represented by the GMACE evaluations. Based on the feedback received during the business meetings, it was agreed that GMACE and MACE should be considered as part of a unique international evaluation system and not as two different systems with separate budgets and fee structures. The SC therefore approved an average increase of 11% on the 2014 total service fees by increasing the variable fees per 1000 cows by 17% (Table 1) and maintaining the basic fee ( 4 000.00) and the relative weight given to each additional trait group (Table 2) as they currently are. Smaller populations are less impacted than larger populations and countries participating with data in GMACE have a larger increase than others. This increase in the variable fees also covers the reduction in fees for the GEBV test from 20% (2012) to 15% (2013), equivalent to 12 980.00 that were not realized in 2013 as part of the overall fee restructuring. The total increment in service fees will be of approximately 82 000.00.
The SC will re-discuss the fee structure in the 2014 annual meeting in Berlin, after receiving the feedback from the business meeting.
Table 1. Calculation of the Interbull annual fee for participation in services and MACE evaluation of production traits.
The 2014 budget presented in Nantes was reviewed in order to alter the following items:
- Adjust the service fees according to the above mentioned fee update.
- Update the salaries & social costs to reflect the changes in personnel at the Interbull Centre.
- Update the outsourced activities to include the prolongation of Gerald Jansen's consultancy and to include the costs referring to a new research agreement between CDN for development and operationalization of GMACE evaluations.
After the modifications, the SC approved the annual financial reports and budgets of the Interbull Centre. The annual report with the reviewed budget for 2014 is available at https://wiki.interbull.org/public/ITBC_report2012_13?action=print.
Update of the publication policy
The Code of Practice Appendix V (Guidelines for minimum requirements for publishing and accessing genetic merit of dairy animals) was updated to clarify publication rules including both MACE and GMACE results. Service users are encouraged to review the text (available at https://wiki.interbull.org/public/CoPAppendixV?action=print&rev=11) and send any clarification questions or comments to the Interbull Centre.
Adoption of the new service contract
Since the SC adopted the suggestion from the business meeting to consider GMACE as an extension of the existing MACE evaluations to include young genomically proven bulls into the international comparison framework, the current service contracts still offer sufficient coverage and there is no need to speed up the adoption of the new contracts. Considering that the proposed new contract is more comprehensive than the current one, its adoption should still occur in the near future, but not as a pre-requisite for GMACE service provision.
New SAC member
The SC decided to invite Dr. Ignacy Misztal, from University of Georgia, to become a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), replacing Georgios Banos. We are glad to announce that Ignacy has accepted the task and will therefore join forces with Vincent Ducrocq (Convener), Mike Goddard and Daniel Gianola in providing guidance and advice to the Interbull community. Welcome!
Executive summary of the strategic plan
Given that the January 2013 strategic plan was not discussed during the business meetings in Nantes due to lack of time, an executive summary of the plan is now made publicly available at https://wiki.interbull.org/public/IBC_Strategic_Plan?action=print. Comments and suggestions are welcome.
GMACE Pilot run
The GMACE pilot run was still ongoing by the time of the meeting and the results were distributed to the participating countries on December 20, 2013. National evaluation units are expected to provide their feedback on results by January 27, 2014. Then the ITC will evaluate the input from the GMACE working group and the feedback from service users and make a recommendation to the SC about the method to be adopted in the February 2014 GMACE test run. In the first week of February 2014, the SC will define the GMACE methodology for the February 2014 GMACE test run and decide if the April 2014 GMACE evaluation will be considered the first routine run or still an implementation run.