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New maternal breeding values have been developed for use in UK beef evaluations. To undertake multitrait BLUP evaluations, it is necessary to have a full covariance matrix. This study outlines the approach taken to construct the full covariance matrices for the four beef breeds that most widely contribute to suckler beef cows in the United Kingdom. The(More)
The aim of this study was to show how choice experiments can be used to derive economic weights in breeding objectives. In a choice experiment, respondents are asked to view various alternative descriptions of a good differentiated by their attributes and levels, and are asked to choose their most preferred alternative. Analysis of the data generated can be(More)
Beef outputs from dairy farms make an important contribution to overall profitability in Irish dairy herds and are the sole source of revenue in many beef herds. The aim of this study was to estimate genetic parameters for animal BW and price across different stages of maturity. Data originated from 2 main sources: price and BW from livestock auctions and(More)
The aim of this study was to evaluate and quantify the importance of avoiding overlap between training and testing subsets of data when evaluating the effectiveness of predictions of genetic merit based on genetic markers. Genomic selection holds great potential for increasing the accuracy of selection in young bulls and is likely to lead quickly to more(More)
The fertility of dairy cattle in New Zealand is well below industry targets, and the current New Zealand fertility breeding value (BV) could potentially be improved using additional information and traits. Data from 169 herds were analyzed to determine the benefits of using alternative phenotypic measures in the calculation of the fertility BV. The(More)
SUMMARY In the derivation of selection index weights it is typically assumed that population and economic parameters are known with certainty. In practice, however, estimates of selection index parameters must be used instead of the true parameters. It is shown that when errors in parameter estimates have asymmetrical effects on the efficiency of a(More)
  • P R Amer
  • 2012
More robust cattle have the potential to increase farm profitability, improve animal welfare, reduce the contribution of ruminant livestock to greenhouse gas emissions and decrease the risk of food shortages in the face of increased variability in the farm environment. Breeding is a powerful tool for changing the robustness of cattle; however, insufficient(More)
The objective of this study was to develop a method for calculating economic values of clinical mastitis (CM) and somatic cell score (SCS) for inclusion in a dairy cattle breeding goal in the context of a country where farm production and economic data are scarce. In order to calculate the costs and derive economic values for SCS, a new model, 'milk(More)
Using internet-based software known as 1000Minds, choice-experiment surveys were administered to experts and farmers from the Irish sheep industry to capture their preferences with respect to the relative importance - represented by part-worth utilities - of target traits in the definition of a breeding objective for sheep in Ireland. Sheep production in(More)
An analytical model that evaluates the benefits from 10 years of genetic improvement over a 20-year time frame was specified. Estimates of recent genetic trends in recorded traits, industry statistics and published estimates of the economic values of trait changes were used to parameterise the model for the UK sheep and beef industries. Despite rates of(More)