Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version

May 2000


Published in Journal of Dairy Science Vol. 83, No. 11, 2000.


Records from Dairy Records Management Systems in Raleigh were used to estimate effects of bovine somatotropin (bST) treatment and to predict breeding values for milk production traits. The data comprised 5245 test-day records of bST-treated cows and 126,223 test-day records of untreated cows in first lactation for milk, fat, and protein yields. Fixed effects of bST treatment were estimated from test-day animal models with herd-test-date as another fixed factor. Percentage increases due to bST treatment ranged from 7 to 8% for test-day milk, fat, and protein yields. Random regression coefficients for additive genetic and permanent environmental effects were included in the model. To assess the potential for bias in genetic evaluations when some and not all cows are treated with bST, breeding values predicted by the test-day model with and without effects of bST treatment were compared for cows and sires. Correlations between breeding values predicted from models with and without effects of bST treatment were 0.99. However, relatively large bias was found for individual animals. This result suggests that bias in genetic evaluation caused by ignoring bST treatment may be significant.