[Oct. 31, 2016] Diary industry loosing $420 billion from one bull

The dairy industry has taken strides in using technology to advance practices for diary production. Now DNA and genetic testing is being used to determine the best breeders for the industry. A bull name Pawnee Farm Arlinda chief, “Chief,” was a bull with impeccable genes. Chiefs’ genes allowed for his female offsprings to produce more milk than other cows. Capitalizing on Chief’s good genes by making him a bull breeder, the dairy industry experienced in a $30 billion increase in milk production over the past 35 years. Chief now accounts for 14 percent of all DNA in Holstein cows. However, geneticists’ discovered that a mutation recently found in Chief’s DNA can cause unexpected termination of pregnancies. A recent estimate theorized that half a million calves died in the womb because of Chief’s genetic mutation. Now, genetic testing is used to make sure that mutations in genes similar to Chief’s do not pass on unknowingly. To learn more about how genetics has transformed the dairy industry and Chief, click here.