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Journal of Dairy Science, Vol 74, Issue 12 4350-4357, Copyright 1991 by American Dairy Science Association


JOURNAL ARTICLE

Method and effect of adjustment for heterogeneous variance

G. R. Wiggans and P. M. VanRaden
Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory, USDA, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350.

Lactation records were standardized for differing genetic and error variances across herds and over time based on phenotypic variance for each herd-year-parity group. Each herd-year-parity phenotypic variance estimate was combined with those of adjacent years and regressed toward a region-year-parity variance. Heritability was assumed to be .25 at mean variance within year and to range from .2 for herds with smallest phenotypic SD to .3 for herds with largest phenotypic SD. Lactation deviations from management group mean were adjusted by ratio of base genetic SD to genetic SD estimated from heritability and phenotypic SD. The base was defined as 1987 calvings for first parity and 1988 calvings for later parities. Records were weighted according to heritability by multiplying lactation length weight by herd error weight defined as ratio of base error variance to error variance in the adjusted record. Estimated genetic trend for milk increased by nearly 5 kg/yr for Holsteins with this adjustment, which caused predicted breeding values of oldest animals to be lower by about 100 kg. Most correlations of parent and progeny information were slightly higher with adjusted data. Cows in high variance herds were most likely to have large reductions in their evaluations. Adjustment for heterogeneous variance was implemented in July 1991 for national evaluations for yield traits.

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Copyright 1991 by the American Dairy Science Association.