CRV, the major supplier of Dutch genetics to British cattle breeding
company Avoncroft Genetics, will be fully using genomic selection
in its bull proving scheme by the second half of 2008. The Dutch
company CRV, also known as Holland Genetics - is the forerunner
in the application of this advanced selection technique.
Genomic selection - the selection of animals through breeding
values based on DNA-profiles – provides reliable information,
at a young age, on potential breeding animals. This enables ‘sharper’ and
more accurate selection of animals and leads to faster genetic
progress. CRV will implement significant changes in its breeding
programme in order to maximise the benefits of genomic selection.
- A doubling of the selection pool. Annually,
CRV selects 500 young Holstein and red Holstein bulls. With
the additional information provided by using genomic selection,
this number will increase to 1,000. This will be the result
of more intensive use of bull dams within the CRV Delta breeding
programme and from contracting more young bulls, out of bull
dams from private breeders.
- A doubling
of the selection intensity of young bulls within this group.
Two hundred out of 1,000 selected young bulls will be tested – a
selection intensity of 1:5, compared to 1:2 previously.
variation in pedigrees among the tested bulls and the extra
information that genomic selection will provide will highlight
the qualities of new cow families more quickly and make it
easier to utilise the strengths of these families.
of breeding programmes by CRV towards different market segments.
With genomic selection it is possible to predict – at
a very young age – whether a bull
will transmit the qualities desired by different markets.
“Thanks to Genomic selection, the success rate of CRV tested
bulls breaking through as commercial breeding sires will double,” says
Avoncroft Genetics’ David Matthews. “The genetic progress
will also increase significantly, estimated to increase by at least
35%. With these changes, CRV marks a new era in cattle breeding
that UK producers are set to benefit from.”
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