Top sires from updated Norwegian Red genetic evaluations raise expectations to new heights
The October 2016 official Norwegian Red genetic evaluations are now available from Geno. Several new genomic tested sires as well as the top daughter proven sires create a lot of excitement.
This October update is the third official genetic evaluation run in Norway that relies on new state-of-the-art genetic evaluation procedures (a single step procedure that includes all performance information as well as pedigree and genomic information simultaneously). Genomic tested sires now dominate the Norwegian market (over 75% of the matings in Norway will be to genomic tested sires in 2016) but both progeny tested and genomic tested sires are available to interested global markets.
Lists of sires ranked on the Norwegian Red Total Merit Index (TMI) will include bulls with daughter based genetic evaluations as well as sires with no daughters and only genomic information. Breeders can make fair comparisons across all bulls (genomic tested and daughter proven) and for all traits using the Geno breeding values.
Genetic evaluation methods
The single step methodology used by Geno for calculating genetic evaluations makes interpretation of genetic evaluations very easy as all animals in the system have genetic evaluations on the same base and with the maximum reliability possible. This single-step GBLUP procedure simultaneously includes all performance information, all genomic information and pedigree information on all animals.
In the 2-step process used by most countries, the prediction equations are developed in the first step by using traditional methods and then the prediction equations are used in a separate step to calculate genomic evaluations of animals without progeny. Single-step GBLUP evaluations should be less likely to have bias compared to genomic evaluations from the 2-step process.
Top genomic tested sires
Several notable genomic tested sires top the Norwegian Red TMI list. Most of these top genomic sires are ready for use or have already been used in Norway. Some of them will be available internationally very soon, a few are already available for distribution internationally to interested markets and others will be available in 2017.
Forty-seven genomic tested sires currently have TMI of 30 or higher. The top 8 genomic tested sires have a TMI of 40 or higher and the top genomic sire has a TMI of 52. The high TMI of these top bulls suggest that the expected genetic progress in the Norwegian Red population has increased substantially through the implementation of genomic selection.
Kvernmo (11837) tops all sires with a TMI of 52. Kvernmo is a polled son of Reitan 2 (11033) from a daughter of Sormarka (10462). He especially excels in production (production index = 153) and has no major weaknesses in key traits.
Meland (11826) has a TMI of 44 with excellent production as well (production index = 147). Meland is a polled son of the popular daughter proven sire Skjelvan (11039) from a daughter of Eggtroen (10579).
Third for TMI on the genomic sire list is Hatle (11818) who is a horned Reitan 2 son also from an Eggtroen daughter.
Other notable genomic tested sires include Fyksen (11824) another Skjelvan son from an Eggtroen sired dam, Onstad (11819) a polled son of Reitan 2, Maele (11789) a Prestangen (10923) son, Jondal (11838) a homozygous polled son sired by Saur (11572), and Boerset (11813) who is another Skjelvan son.
Growing in popularity internationally
Genomic tested Norwegian Red sires are growing in popularity internationally. If you are not currently using genomic tested Norwegian Red sires it might be wise to ask your local sales team about their availability. The Geno team believes that genomic tested Norwegian Red sires should be part of most crossbreeding programs. We have the confidence to use genomic tested sires heavily within Norway and we are confident that international users will be very happy with the results from genomic tested sires as well. Of course with genomic tested sires it is important to use several sires as a risk management strategy.
Some herds are interested in genomic sires that are a bit older and that have service sire (direct) calving ease and stillbirth breeding values based on actual calving records. The following list includes top genomic tested sires with actual direct calving data. These sires would be available in most markets if demand is significant:
Top genomic tested sires with actual direct calving data.
|Bull||TMI||Direct calving ease||Polled status|
|Saur (11572)||34||96||homozygous polled|
|Rud (11728)||28||116||homozygous polled|
Top progeny tested sires
Skjortorp (11335), Reitan 2 (11033), Hofstad (11308), Gopollen (11078) and Skretting (11284) are the top 5 daughter proven Norwegian Red sires for TMI. Gopollen and Reitan 2 have been at or near the top of the TMI list for over 1 year. Gopollen and Reitan 2 have been in extremely high demand internationally and we expect this to continue.
Forty-four Norwegian Red sires received their first official genetic evaluations based on daughter performance with this October 2016 run. Skjortorp was previously promoted as a genomic tested sire and he now is daughter proven. Skjortorp tops the list of daughter proven bulls with a TMI of 44.