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Genetic linkage in beef recording programmes

To enable accurate comparisons to be made between cattle reared in different herds, it is important that there is genetic linkage between the contemporary groups in different recorded herds.

A common example where linkage is created is where an AI sire has produced calves in a number of different herds. The performance of his progeny provides a benchmark against which the progeny of other bulls can be compared.

There are occasions when breeders should consider structuring their breeding strategy to improve their linkage to other recorded herds.

These include:
1. Where a new, imported sire is being used in a herd

2. When a new breeder starts recording and little is known about the genetic merit of their cows

3. The recording of breeds that are not widely recorded