Genetic improvement programs in livestock: swine testing and genetic evaluation system (stages)
Stewart, T.S.; Lofgren, D.L.; Harris, D.L.; Einstein, M.E.; Schinckel, A.P.
Journal of Animal Science 69(9): 3882-3890
Genetic evaluations for the U.S. swine industry are conducted by the eight purebred associations of the National Association of Swine Records. Within-herd evaluations of the growth traits (days to 105 kg [market] and backfat depth) were first reported in 1986. Analyses of the maternal traits (litter size at birth and weaning, and litter 21-d weight) were inaugurated in 1987. Expected progeny differences (EPD) are reported for all traits and for general, paternal, and maternal bioeconomic indexes. A sow productivity index combining only maternal traits is available. All records are adjusted according to National Swine Improvement Federation (NSIF) guidelines for effects such as number of pigs transferred at crossfostering and age at recorded observation prior to the BLUP evaluation. Within-herd analyses of individual contemporary groups are conducted immediately on receipt of performance records at each breed association office. All parents in the herd and the young pigs in the current group are evaluated. A report is returned to the breeder for use in herd selection and the EPD are placed in the pedigree file. The genetic base of each herd is defined as the first n tested pigs or litters, where n is the number of pigs registered annually within the herd. Change in mean EPD between groups is indicative of genetic trend. Periodic across-herd analyses are used to update interim within-herd analyses and a national sire summary is published.