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About: Tara Bohnert

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Jersey breed purity lingo

Breed purity is a hot topic for Jerseys.

Many of the elite sires have been upgraded from Holstein heritage through the Jersey Genetic Recovery and Jersey Expansion programs. These programs allow breeders to enroll animals with a Jersey appearance, or those sired by a Jersey bull, into the herd registry. While they have proven beneficial in growing the registered Jersey population, some unforeseen impacts have left many producers confused as to just what qualifies an AI bull as a Jersey.

The American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA) board of directors has worked with animal ancestry via pedigree and genomic data to come up with some visual cues to eliminate confusion on Jersey purity.

Generation Count and a JX prefix have been added to full names to signify a hole in the pedigree or unknown dairy ancestry. Breed Base Representation (BBR) is now displayed on all animals recorded with the ACJA to represent the amount of Jersey blood within the pedigree.

Generation Count (GC)

Generation Count demonstrates the depth of Jersey ancestry. An animal’s name will include a suffix enclosed in braces { } to indicate the number of generations of AJCA-recorded ancestry from 1-6. A GC of 1 means the animal is one generation removed from an unknown or non-Jersey in the pedigree. A GC of 6 means the animal is six generations removed from an unknown or non-Jersey animal.

The GC is dropped when seven or more generations of ancestors are recorded by the AJCA. The offspring of a mating with be one generation count higher than the lowest parent.

JX Prefix

A JX prefix is now found on the majority of the pedigrees that contain a generation count. The JX prefix indicates that there is unknown dairy (most commonly Holstein) parentage in the pedigree. The GC will then indicate how far back in the pedigree the unknown dairy breed can be found.

If you find a bull with a GC but no JX prefix, that means that the missing part of the pedigree is an unidentified Jersey. 

Breed Base Representation (BBR)

BBR is a genomic-measured trait that compares the DNA of a genotyped animal to a Jersey reference group and all other breeds. The Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) policy is to report BBR values of 94 or greater as 100 due to standard deviations. Bulls below 94 will have an expressed value. The AJCA will publish a BBR value for all recorded animals.

Males will be published on one of two reports.

Males on the main list include those who:

  • are Herd Registered
    • more than 6 generations of identified Jersey parentage
  • have a Generation Count of 4-6 and a BBR of 100

Males on the secondary list include those with a:

  • Generation Count of 3 (regardless of BBR)
  • Generation Count of 4-6, if their BBR is less than 94

 

Here are a few examples to show this Jersey breed purity lingo in action.

JX Ahlem Jumbo Kaa { 5 } – ET   BBR 100

  • KAA is 5 generations from an unknown dairy breed and is BBR 100
  • Offspring will be Generation Count 6 and 100 BBR IF he is mated to a GC 5, 6 or HR female

JX Oomsdale Brazo Gratitude Ghent { 2 } – ET   BBR 82

  • GHENT is 2 generation from Holstein influence and is BBR 82
  • Offspring will be Generation Count 3 and Non-HR.

 

At Alta, we are committed to supplying our clients around the globe with the most reliable genetics available. In order to fulfill this promise, we offer a diversified Jersey product lineup focusing on the traits that are most profitable to our clients’ dairies.

We have the highest level of confidence in the genetic and genomic predictions of BBR 100 bulls and the performance those daughters realize in the milking herd. We recognize that clients have choices, so we will always market with full transparency.

To learn more about the Rules for the Registration and Transfer of Jersey Cattle, click HERE.

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Introducing JPI 2017

With April proofs comes the introduction of JPI 2017 to replace the previous JPI 2015.

Jersey Performance Index™ (JPI™) is the American Jersey Cattle Association’s (AJCA) strategy for increasing lifetime net income.

The AJCA took into account the following three key fundamentals for Jersey sustainability while determining JPI 2017. These fundamentals were determined by a Capper and Cady 2012 study comparing the environmental impact of Jersey and Holstein milk for cheese production.

  • Increase production
  • Maintain body size
  • Maintain or improve components

What is the purpose of the new JPI 2017?

  • Increase milk production
  • Improve the density of milk
  • Moderate body weight
  • Improve herd life, fertility, udder health, and functional conformation

What new traits have been added to the formula? 

  • CFP Milk
    • Every 100 pounds of PTA milk needs 8.8 pounds combined fat and protein
    • Pounds of Milk = CFP/0.088
    • CFP Milk = PTA Milk – Pounds of Milk
    • If CFP Milk is positive, the JPI™ value is negative because there is more water than components
  • Body Weight Composite (BWC)
    • Proxy for feed efficiency, and replaces body size composite
  • PTA Cow Livability
    • Measures a cow’s ability to stay alive on the farm

What is the impact of JPI 2017? 
  • Significant drops in JPI for all industry sires.
    • The upper JPI threshold will drop from about 300 JPI to 230 JPI, and all industry bulls will drop in their JPI value.
  • Significant rescaling, similar to a base change.
    • We see genomic sires JPI™ values fall 38 points on average
  • Some re-ranking – in both directions
    • Some minor and some significant

Here is a full breakdown of the new JPI 2017. In the simplest terms, JPI 2017 has five percent less weight on production and five percent more weight on type traits as compared to JPI 2015. But there’s more to it than that. The following traits are new additions to the JPI 2017 formula.

Image comparing the genetic index weights on production, health and type traits for JPI 2015 versus JPI 2017

JPI 2015JPI 2017
Protein4330
Fat1515
CFP Milk-8
PRODUCTION TOTAL WEIGHT5853
Productive life106
Cow livability-4
Somatic cell score66
Daughter pregnancy rate77
Cow conception rate22
Heifer conception rate22
HEALTH TOTAL WEIGHT2727
Stature-0.6-0.9
Strength-0.1-3.4
Dairy form2.0
Rump angle-0.1
Rump width0.2-0.7
Rear Legs -0.1-0.1
Foot angle0.10.1
Fore udder2.62.4
Rear udder height1.91.8
Rear udder width0.10.1
Udder cleft2.11.9
Udder depth5.14.7
Teat placement1.00.9
Teat length-1.0-0.9
TYPE TOTAL WEIGHT1520
No time is better than now to sit down and review your genetic plan and strategy. When you set your own unique herd index, you will maximize genetic gains in the areas that most impact your farm’s profitability.
Focus on your goals and work with your trusted Alta advisor to create a customized index as an investment in your future.
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