JPI and JUI Updates in December Genetic Evaluations

Publish date:12.1.23 

When the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) releases genetic evaluations in December, an update to the Jersey Performance Index (JPI) and Jersey Udder Index (JUI) will be applied as approved by the American Jersey Cattle Association. As a result, the Jersey breed could see some reranking.  

JPI will now have more emphasis on production and see a slight increase in weight for survival traits, all while maintaining strongly attached udders. The strategy behind JPI is to pinpoint high-performing, healthy Jersey cows with longevity. The updates to the formula for JUI will follow that same strategy by rewarding high-performing, long-lived cows with durable udders. See our abbreviated summary of the changes below.  

Jersey Performance Index Notable Changes 

  • Marketed bulls average an increase of nine points. The top bull increases from 198 to 221. 
  • With the changes to the formula, JPI will now differ more from Cheese Merit. 
  • There are no frame traits included in the formula, meaning body size will be larger for JPI than CM$. Type correlation remains the same despite less weight on conformation traits 

What to Expect from Jersey Udder Index Updates 

  • Marketed bulls average an increase of eight points. Changes for individual bulls vary from +12 to -5. The top bull goes from 22.0 to 26.2 
  • The formula now has intermediate optimums for many traits. For example, the most credit a bull gets for udder depth is at +2.5, which favors more production. 

[insert button: See the full ABS Jersey lineup.] 

How Does this Impact You? 

There are a few things to note as we approach Sire Summary and these updates. You may see some tightening in terms of ranking amongst the Jersey sire population. Compared to before, JUI favors more productive bulls and moderates teat placement. It is key to remember that Cheese Merit is still a popular index for commercial producers, and even considering these updates, there is no reason to move away from using that index if you so choose.  

Creating a Custom Index 

Regardless of these changes, building a Custom Index for your operation is still what we recommend. Using a Custom Index is the best solution for producers to maximize genetic progress and profitability because it goes beyond the limitations that national evaluations pose. National evaluations are created with more of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, but not all dairies are created equal. A Custom Index allows you to select genetics based on the milk market, facilities, business style, and more. With a Custom Index, you have the power to choose the areas to improve that matter to that specific operation.  

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