A comparison of breeding values and genetic trends of production traits from two models is made. One set of breeding values and trends was estimated by the September/October 2003 South African National Genetic Evaluation, using a Lactation Model (LM). The other set was obtained in the 2004 South African National Genetic Evaluation, using a Fixed Regression Test-day Model (TDM). This comparison is made for Ayrshire, Guernsey, Holstein and Jersey cows participating in the South African Dairy Animal Improvement Scheme. Specific differences between the two models were documented, with differences in statistical methodology and inclusion of test-day records of the first three parities in the TDM vs. only first lactation 305-day yields in the LM, as the main differences. Significant reranking of especially cows and unproven sires occurred between the models. Genetic trends of the TDM were not as steep as those from the LM, as the trait that was selected was first lactation yield, while the TDM trends reflect genetic progress over the first three parities.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher