Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

January 1998


Published in Journal of Dairy Science Vol. 81, No. 2, 1998.


Milk yield, fat yield, and fat percentage during the first three lactations were studied using New York Holsteins that were milked twice daily over a 305-d, mature equivalent lactation. Those data were used to estimate variances from direct and maternal genetic effects, cytoplasmic effects, sire by herd interaction, and cow permanent environmental effects. Cytoplasmic line was traced to the last female ancestor using DHI records from 1950 through 1991. Records were 138,869 lactations of 68,063 cows calving from 1980 through 1991. Ten random samples were based on herd code. Samples averaged 4926 dams and 2026 cytoplasmic lines. Model also included herd-year-seasons as fixed effects and genetic covariance for direct-maternal effects. Mean estimates of the effects of maternal genetic variances and direct-maternal covariances, as fractions of phenotypic variances, were 0.008 and 0.007 for milk yield, 0.010 and 0.010 for fat yield, and 0.006 and 0.025 for fat percentage, respectively. Average fractions of variance from cytoplasmic line were 0.011, 0.008, and 0.009 for milk yield, fat yield, and fat percentage. Removal of maternal genetic effects and covariance for maternal direct effects from the model increased the fraction of direct genetic variance by 0.014, 0.021, and 0.046 for milk yield, fat yield, and fat percentage; little change in the fraction was due to cytoplasmic line. Exclusion of cytoplasmic effects from the model increased the ratio of additive direct genetic variance to phenotypic variance by less than 2%. Similarly, when sire by herd interaction was excluded, the ratio of direct genetic variance to phenotypic variance increased 1% or less.