What is the Genetic Base?

The genetic base represents the “zero point” of genetic indices and is based on data from a specific population of cows born within a certain range of years. With the data release of Tuesday 4 April 2023, cows considered are those born from 2015 to 2017 (3 years).

In Italy, the Frisona breed has a mobile base that is updated every year in April.  In most countries (for example France, Germany, England, Canada), the base is updated annually, while in the United States it is updated every 5 years.

How to read data?

In general terms, a negative variation of the genetic base  highlights an improvement of a certain characteristic.

For example, the Milk base has varied by 125 kg, increasing the population zero value to 10,928.75 kg of milk at 305 days. In order to correctly read the milk data of a certain bull, it will be necessary to add the value of the population base (10,928.75 kg) to half of the bull’s data: to keep it simple, in Pegasus’ case, half of his data (+1751 kg) should be added to the population average of 10,928.75 kg. That means Pegasus’ daughters have a prediction at 305 days of 11,804.25 kg of milk.

The productive data of fat and protein are read in the same way.

Looking at the general trend, there is an increase in milk production in the Italian Holstein population. The selection has also reach excellent results in terms of functional traits: somatic cells have descresed from 2.82 to 2.79 (linear score), with a variation of -0.48 on the SCS index. Longevity (-0.72) and ferility (-0.22) have also improved.

Instead, like the last year, the BCS is experiencing a continuous worsening, due to the fact that it is not yet considered in the selection programs, even though Intermizoo has been working on it for some years.