The letters, numbers and acronyms on a proof sheet can be complicated. Here, we break down the meaning and explanation of the proof indexes, traits and terminology.
Genetic selection indexes are set by national organizations or breed associations. Genetic indexes help dairy producers focus on a total approach to genetic improvement, rather than limiting progress by single trait selection.
However, each farm is unique, with different situations and future plans. With that in mind, it’s important to understand what traits are included in each industry standard index. When you know what’s included, you can more effectively evaluate if the index truly matches your farm’s goals.
PRODUCTION TRAITS = 46%
21% Pounds of protein
17% Pounds of fat
8% Feed efficiency
HEALTH TRAITS = 28%
13% Fertility index
-5% Somatic cell score
4% Productive life
3% Cow livability
2% Daughter calving ease
1% Daughter stillbirth
TYPE TRAITS = 26%
11% Udder composite
8% PTA type
6% Foot & leg composite
-1% Dairy form
NM$ = Net Merit Dollars
NM$ is a genetic index value calculated by the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB). It describes the expected lifetime profit per cow as compared to the base of the population born in 2010. Trait weightings are generally updated approximately every five years and include emphasis on the following traits. The current trait breakdown is in place as of April 2017. Please note that trait weights are rounded to the nearest percentage.
PRODUCTION TRAITS = 43%
24% Pounds of fat
18% Pounds of protein
-1% Pounds of milk
HEALTH TRAITS = 41%
13% Productive life
7% Cow livability
7% Daughter pregnancy rate
-6% Somatic cell score
5% Calving ability
2% Cow conception rate
1% Heifer conception rate
TYPE TRAITS = 16%
7% Udder composite
6% Body weight composite
3% Foot & leg composite
CM$ = Cheese Merit Dollars
CM$ is an index calculated to account for milk sold to be made into cheese or other dairy products. The current CM$ index was adjusted in April 2017 and the following trait weights are considered. Please take note that trait weights shown have been rounded to the nearest percentage.
PRODUCTION = 50%
22% Pounds of protein
20% Pounds of fat
-8% Pounds of milk
HEALTH = 37%
12% Productive life
-7% Somatic cell score
6% Cow livability
6% Daughter pregnancy rate
4% Calving ability
1% Cow conception rate
1% Heifer conception rate
TYPE TRAITS = 13%
5% Body weight composite
2% Foot & leg
GENERAL PROOF TERMS
CDCB: Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding
Calculates production and health trait information for all breeds
MACE: Multiple-trait across country evaluation
Denotes that a bull’s proof evaluation includes daughter information from multiple countries
PTA: Predicted transmitting ability
The estimate of genetic superiority or inferiority for a given trait that an animal is predicted to transmit to its offspring. This value is based on the animal’s own records and the records of known relatives.
EFI: Effective future inbreeding
An estimate, based on pedigree, of the level of inbreeding that the progeny of a given animal will contribute in the population if mated at random
GFI: Genomic future inbreeding
Similar to EFI, an animal’s GFI als predicts the level of inbreeding he/she will contribute in the population if mated at random. Yet, GFI provides a more accurate prediction. It takes into account genomic test results and the actual genes an animal has.
aAa: an independent method for making mating decisions
DMS: a separate, independent method for making mating decisions
PRODUCTION TRAIT TERMS
PTAM: Predicted transmitting ability for milk
PTAP: Predicted transmitting ability for protein
PTAF: Predicted transmitting ability for fat
PRel: the percent reliability of a sire’s production proof
HEALTH & FERTILITY TRAIT TERMS
PL: Productive Life
Measured as the total number of additional or fewer productive months that you can expect from a bull’s daughters over their lifetime. Cows receive credit for each month of lactation, with more credit given to the first months around peak production, and less credit given for months further out in lactation. More credit is also given for older cows than for younger animals.
LIV: Cow livability
Measure of a cow’s ability to remain alive while in the milking herd.
SCS: Somatic cell score
The log score of somatic cells per milliliter.
DPR: Daughter pregnancy rate
Daughter Pregnancy Rate is defined as the percentage of non-pregnant cows that become pregnant during each 21-day period. A DPR of ‘1.0’ implies that daughters from this bull are 1% more likely to become pregnant during that estrus cycle than a bull with an evaluation of zero. Each increase of 1% in PTA DPR equals a decrease of 4 days in PTA days open.
HCR: Heifer conception rate
A virgin heifer’s ability to conceive – defined as the percentage of inseminated heifers that become pregnant at each service. An HCR of 1.0 implies that daughters of this bull are 1% more likely to become pregnant as a heifer than daughters of a bull with an evaluation of 0.0
CCR: Cow conception rate
A lactating cow’s ability to conceive – defined as the percentage of inseminated cows that become pregnant at each service. A bull’s CCR of 1.0 implies that daughters of this bull are 1% more likely to become pregnant during that lactation than daughters of a bull with an evaluation of 0.0.
HRel: the reliability percentage for a sire’s health traits
HEALTH & CALVING TRAIT TERMS
SCE: Sire calving ease
The percentage of bull’s calves born that are considered difficult in first lactation animals. Difficult births include those coded as a score of 3, 4 or 5 on a scale of 1-5.
DCE: Daughter calving ease
The percentage of a bull’s daughters who have difficult births during their first calving. Difficult calvings are those coded as a 3, 4 or 5 on a scale of 1-5.
SSB: Sire stillbirth
The percentage of a bull’s offspring that are born dead to first lactation animals.
DSB: Daughter stillbirth
The percentage of a bull’s daughters who give birth to a dead calf in their first lactation.
TYPE / CONFORMATION TRAIT TERMS
PTAT, UDC and FLC are all calculated by the Holstein Association USA.
PTAT: Predicted transmitting for type – referring to the total conformation of an animal
UDC: Udder composite index; comprised of the following linear trait weights:
19% Rear udder height
17% Udder depth
6% Rear udder width
13% Fore udder attachment
7% Udder Cleft
4% Rear teat optimum
4% Teat length optimum
3% Front teat placement
FLC: Foot and leg composite index; comprised of the following trait weights:
58% foot and leg classification score
18% rear legs rear view
8% foot angle
TRel = the percent reliability for a sire’s conformation/type proof
PO: observed polled
PC: genomic tested as heterozygous polled; means 50% of offspring are expected to be observed as polled
PP: genomic tested as homozygous polled; means that 100% of offspring are expected to be observed as polled
RC: carries the recessive gene for red coat color
DR: carries a dominant gene for red coat color
RECESSIVES & HAPLOTYPES
These codes, or symbols representing the code, will only show up on a proof sheet if an animal is a carrier or test positive for one of the following. The acronyms denoting that an animal is tested free of a recessive will only show up on its pedigree.
TY: Tested free of brachyspina
BL: BLADS, or Bovine leukocyte adhesion deficiency
TL: Tested free of BLADS
CV: CVM or Complex vertebral malformation
TV: Tested free of CVM
DP: DUMPS, or Deficiency of the uridine monophosphate synthase
TD: Tested free of DUMPS
TM: Tested free of mulefoot
HH1, HH2, HH3, HH4, HH5: Holstein haplotypes that negatively affect fertility
HCD: Holstein haplotype for cholesterol deficiency