Saturday, June 25, 2016

BIF 2016: Genomics, return on investment - fact or fiction?

Tonya Amen
Consultant for Illumina, Inc.

One dairy operation was making $35 per year progress for net merit. After using genomics in late 2009, they were making $50 per year in progress for net merit. After they started testing females, this rate increased to nearly $80.
This dairy herd is now seeing $340 more in life time production by using genomics.

From 2005 to 2008, $B was increasing by $3.77 per year.
From 2009 to 2015, $B increased by $5.62 per year.

From 2013 to 2015, $B increased by $9.31 per year.
A 146% increase in genetic trend.

We have seen more rapid genetic improvement in Angus, Hereford and Simmental, all of which line up nicely with the deployment of GE-EPDs. Thus, it is possible (likely?) that this improved genetic improvement is due to the benefit of genomics.

In the dairy industry, genomics is equivalent to 25 production records, 25 conformation records, and 140 fertility records.
Genomics is saving the Canadian dairy industry $111 million dollars annually.
Genomics is saving the New Zealand Farming Coop $4.2 million annually. The genetic gain is increasing despite the cost saving.

A genomic test for Angus gives a breeder the same amount of information as 17 progeny with records for dry matter intake. A $47 test is much cheaper than doing a feeding trial on 17 progeny.

Three benefits:
1) Identify future problems
2) Identify current problems
3) Gives representative proxies for genetic merit of steer mates

There is also value in avoiding inbreeding. Inbreeding decreases performance, thus avoiding inbreeding helps us to avoid decreased performance. In dairy cattle, there is a $20 lost revenue per year for a 1% increase in inbreeding.

Selecting cattle for placement in a feedlot can be worth up to $38 per head. If we are just trying to use this information for different management, the value is less than $1 per head.

CLARIFIDE plus now can directly predict disease risk in Holstein cattle. As discussed previously, we see large reductions in feed efficiency due to health problems.

Amen's is pointing out that we see a $204 premium for heifers with genomics tests in the Show-Me-Plus program. This leads to a return on investment of 167% to 700%.
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