Lactation measures of somatic cell concentration and total SCC production were developed. Data were separated into three parity groups. Within parity, five data sets were created: four subsets by herd-year average SCC, and one with all records. Records on lactation SCC, total SCC production, and 305-d milk were analyzed by a sire model separately in each subset within parity. Variance components estimates were by REML. For SCC and total SCC production, heritability estimates averaged .12 and were lowest in the highest level of herd-year average SCC. Estimates of genetic correlation between SCC and total SCC production were over .95; between SCC and 305-d milk were around .25 in first and –.15 in later parities; between total SCC and 305-d milk were around .50 in first and .15 in later parities. Product-moment correlations between sire effects in different levels of herd-year average SCC were obtained. Ratios of product-moment correlations to their expected value were above .80 for all traits in all parities. High ratios indicated little genotype by environment interaction. A sire by herd interaction was fitted in the model and accounted for less than 2% of total phenotypic variance for SCC and total SCC production, and 4% for 305-d milk. Estimates of genetic correlation of first with later parities were .71 to .86 for all traits. Between second and third parity genetic correlation estimates were around unity for all traits. Records from all parities should be used for sire evaluation.
- genotype environment interaction
- Genetic correlation
- Somatic cell count