Achieve greater genetic improvement

Improve genetics with powerful indexes

November 18, 2016
POSTED BY: Dan Weigel

CLARIFIDE® Plus presents comprehensive ways to combine wellness and other genetic trait predictions into economic-based indexes that measure profitability. The two indexes are Wellness Trait Index™ (WT$™) and Dairy Wellness Profit Index™ (DWP$™).

First, what is a selection index? Selection indexes help producers select for several traits at once, taking into account genetic relationships and economic values. A selection index, such as DWP$, provides comprehensive and specific information on wellness and other performance traits to provide clarity and opportunity to make more profitable animal rankings and decisions.

To learn more about this new offering and set of indexes, let’s zoom in to take a closer look at the two indexes, WT$ and DWP$, to see how they differ and learn the benefits of each.

Focus on wellness, with Wellness Trait Index
The Wellness Trait Index (WT$) focuses exclusively on wellness traits — mastitis, lameness, metritis, retained placenta, displaced abomasum, ketosis and polled — and quickly estimates expected differences in lifetime profitability related to those traits. For example, clinical mastitis is reported to be the most common and overall costly disease condition of dairy cows and, as such, makes up 41% of the relative selection emphasis in the WT$.1

Summary:

  • WT$ estimates genetic differences in lifetime profitability attributed to differences in risk of six common disease conditions plus an economic value for carrying the polled gene.
  • Animals with higher WT$ are expected to be more profitable due to lower expected disease risk.
  • WT$ is best used within a genetic selection index, such as the most comprehensive profitability index, DWP$, or as part of a custom index selection tailored to breeding goals on the dairy.
  • WT$ explains economic differences in disease risk and is not designed to address differences in other areas or traits, such as fertility.

Focus on profit, with Dairy Wellness Profit Index
Dairy Wellness Profit Index (DWP$) describes variation in expected profitability of dairy animals attributed to genetic potential differences for production, fertility, longevity, health and wellness traits. DWP$ differs from other economic indexes because it includes direct predictions for economically important diseases via the addition of wellness traits. By including more characteristics affecting profitability, DWP$ describes more genetic variation in profitability than other indexes.

Summary:

  • DWP$ is an all-encompassing index that makes ranking animals much easier for the dairy operation. 
  • DWP$ includes production, fertility, type, longevity, health and wellness traits, and includes the economic value for official polled test results.
  • A higher DWP$ value is more desirable and indicates, genetically, an overall more profitable animal.
  • Producers can confidently use DWP$™ to make all selection decisions, including heifer and bull selection, plus make breeding type decisions, such as when embryos, sexed, conventional or beef semen may be used.
  • DWP$ accounts for disease traits and helps explain the profitability of the animal, thus advancing herds much faster toward overall profitability.

Learn more about the indexes used in CLARIFIDE Plus by watching the educational videos The CLARIFIDE Plus Wellness Trait Index™ (WT$™) and The Power of the Dairy Wellness Profit Index™ (DWP$™).You also can find more information at CLARIFIDEPlus.com or by contacting your local Zoetis representative.

1 Guard C. The costs of common diseases of dairy cattle, in Proceedings. Central Vet Conf 2008.

CLR-00201

COMMENTS

Have a Comment? Subscribe