Breeding for better lives
Geno Norway
Norwegian Red cow in Lyngen, Norway
Norwegian Red cow in Lyngen, Norway. Photo: Mari Bjørke, Geno
12.04.11    Author: Gary W. Rogers and Joan B. Cooper, Geno Global, Hamar, Norway

Performance of Nordic Red bulls used in dairy crossbreeding in the U.S.

Daughters of Nordic Red sires (Finnish Ayrshire, Norwegian Red and Swedish Red) have performed well in dairy crossbreeding programs in the U.S. over the past several years.


Data from the most recent USDA genetic evaluations (April 2011) were used to summarize performance of U.S. daughters of imported Nordic Red Sires.


Nordic Red bulls in the U.S.

Thousands of doses of semen from Nordic Red sires have been imported into the U.S. over the past 10 years.  Much of this semen has been used in U.S. herds that do not contribute to the national genetic evaluations but a significant percentage of this semen has also been used in herds that are participating in the national genetic evaluation programs.


Data from U.S. Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for genetic evaluations in the U.S. for most traits and a substantial number of the daughters of imported Nordic Red bulls are now included in these genetic evaluations.


Table 1 contains the number of bulls and number of daughters from the Nordic Red sires with official U.S. genetic evaluations that are partially based on U.S. daughters.  Average daughter yield deviations for U.S. daughters of the Nordic Red sires from the April 2011 official U.S. genetic evaluations are also provided in Table 1.  Only data on U.S. daughters are included in Table 1. 


Daughter yield deviations measure daughter performance compared with contemporaries or herdmates.  Daughter yield deviations are adjusted for all the non-genetic factors that systematically impact performance and they are the main component of genetic evaluations. 


Daughter yield deviations for Nordic Red bulls are given on the Ayrshire scale in the U.S.  The bulls represented in Table 1 have been selected for import into the U.S. so the results tell us about the performance of daughters of the imported bulls. 


Daughter data from Danish Red sires are not included in Table 1 because only 3 Danish Red sires with 50 daughters total were included in the April 2011 U.S. genetic evaluations.


Table 1.  Number of bulls, total number of daughters and average U.S. daughter yield deviations by country of origin for Nordic Red bulls with daughters in April 2011 U.S. genetic evaluations. 




Average US daughter yield deviations

No. bulls/ daughters

Milk yield

Protein yield

Fat yield

Daughter pregnancy rate




















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