bull in dry lot

Good piece on genomics, "Genomic bulls still have inflated grades," in the March 24 Hoard's Dairyman Intel.

It reminds me of the long-term study of Ben McDaniel, which showed that using a batch of young sires (young bulls being sampled) resulted in the same or better rate of progress than using proven sires. BUT one had to use a broader sample of young sires because their variation was greater and it was important to hedge a bit.

Genomic selection will inevitably have more variation for a while, but it is improving. What it cannot account for is epigenetics (environmental effects that modify gene expression). As we learn more about epigenetics, our algorithms will improve; however, daughter-proven sires are still the gold standard and will be for some time.

– Jack H. Britt, North Carolina

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