Two new genomic tests just hit the market. Not only can Holstein breeders test females on the traditional 50K test, but they can also use the just released 3K SNP (single-nucleotide polymorphism) and the 800K (HD) test. Meanwhile, the American Jersey Cattle Association also released the 3K chip to breeders.

Here is some background on understanding these new tests. Let's use PTA Milk (predicted transmitting ability for milk) as an example, which for milk would have a 42 percent reliability.

The 50K SNP test that has been on the market for the past two years yields a 72 percent reliability. The price for this test was reduced with the introduction of the 3K and 800K tests.

The new 3K SNP Test offers breeders a sizable gain in reliability over traditional parent averages. Using the 3K chip, which is less expensive than the 50K test, does generate a higher reliability over PTA alone. When the sire and maternal grandsire have 50K test results (all previous animals were tested with the 50K test), but the dam doesn't, raises reliability to 60 percent. If both parents have 50K tests results, the reliability goes to 65.

The 800K (HD) SNP Test gives breeders 74 percent reliability on an animal's genetic future. However, this more comprehensive test is the more expensive option.

To learn more about specific prices, Holstein breeders can go to

To learn more about specific prices, Jersey breeders can go to