Improved Genetics for Fertility: A Major Success Story in Modern Breeding

Declining fertility rates as a consequence of intense selection for production improvement through the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s created a major negative for the Holstein breed. However, the implementation of genetic evaluations for fertility 20 years ago have resulted in dramatic gains for both production and fertility over recent years, even though the two traits are negatively correlated. In the July edition page 10 we looked at how fertility evaluations are calculated in the US, Canada, Germany and Scandinavia. Here in part 2, we present the approaches used in the Netherlands, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

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