Rather than waiting for monthly results, preliminary genomic evaluations will be available to producers on a weekly basis starting November 11.
"The rate in which we are collecting new genotypes has really increased over the years," said João Dürr, Council for Dairy Cattle Breeding's chief executive officer, at a press conference held during World Dairy Expo. Due to the surge in sampling, a method has been developed to calculate preliminary genomic predictions weekly before the release of the official monthly evaluations by processing only newly genotyped animals and using estimates of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) effects from the previous official evaluation.
To minimize computing time, reliabilities and genomic inbreeding will not be calculated, and fixed weights will be used to combine genomic and traditional evaluations. For producer convenience, the CSV files will still contain the same columns as the monthly files, but data for reliability and some other columns will be left blank. Estimates of effects for SNPs will result in some differences between the preliminary and following month's genomic evaluations, but correlations are very high, Dürr explained.
Files will be posted at 8 a.m. each Tuesday. "This earlier access to genomic information will benefit producers by enabling earlier culling decisions," noted Dürr. Further, since farms will have an incentive to send samples in throughout the month and not just at its conclusion, "It will spread the workload out for labs, which are currently working almost 24 hours a day the last few days before deadline," he said.
More information on these changes can be found here.