Below follows a summary of the most important items discussed and decided at the Interbull meetings held in Niagara Falls, NY, USA, June 16-19, 2008.
- Dorota Krencik retired from the Interbull Steering Committee after having represented the East European countries for the last eight years. The vacancy after Dorota is to be filled by another person from that region and nominations are still welcome. The term of Enrico Santus was renewed.
- Several national genetic evaluation centers do currently have projects on computations of genomic EBVs (GEBVs). A task force to work on the technical issues, that arise when GEBVs are used at national and international level, has been formed. The first results shall be discussed at a workshop in Uppsala in beginning of 2009. The exact dates and the program of the workshop will be distributed in due time.
- For the Interbeef project a data base system to capture the necessary data is currently under development. As side effect parts of this data base can also be used for the dairy evaluations of Interbull. A questionnaire will be sent to member countries during the next couple of months to seek input for national requirements and demands to be included in the construction of the data base system.
- A test run for milking speed and temperament is scheduled for September 2008. The test run for milking speed will be for all breeds, but for temperament data will be used only for Holstein and Red Dairy Cattle.
Also a test run for locomotion and body condition score is scheduled for September 2008. The test run for these two traits will be for Holstein only.
Data, parameter files and validation results for the test run should be submitted to the Interbull Centre no later than September 9. An announcement of these services is in preparation and will be distributed shortly.
- MT-EDCs for calving traits shall be submitted for the September test run. A letter with instructions and requirements will be distributed shortly.
- A pilot study for calving traits for the Simmental breed will be performed in beginning of 2009. An announcement of the data deadline will be done in due time.
- A survey of the reception of the new evaluation schedule has been conducted. The decrease in number of evaluations from four to three was in general accepted. Also the timing of the April and August runs seem to suit well leaving the January evaluation with the biggest concern due to the non-equal spacing of evaluations and the length of the time period from submission of data in December to release of international breeding values in January. Two options were discussed: a) Release in early December b) Release in January with a slightly shorter time span between data submission in December and release in January. At the earliest any new schedule would be in place in December 2009 / January 2010. Therefore the SC decided to evaluate all pros and cons of these two options until its next meeting in early 2009 and decide then about the new schedule.
- The survey also included a question of change of wall clock time from 17.00 C.E.T to 12.00 C.E.T. for data transmission to IB center. The majority of responses were positive to this change and it was therefore decided to do so.
- Recruitment of a new Interbull Centre director is ongoing.
- The next Interbull Meeting will take place on August 21-23, 2009, in Barcelona in conjunction with the annual meeting of the EAAP (August 24-27). The meeting in 2010 will be held June 1-3 in Riga, Latvia, in conjunction with the ICAR biennial congress.