Finnish embryo transfer breeding program "ASMO" description of the goals and a summary of the results of initial selection
Agricultural and Food Science
In 1990 the organizations responsible for Finnish dairy breeding established an open nucleus multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) breeding program called ASMO. The aim was, besides to test effectiveness of MOET, to improve the protein to fat ratio in milk produced by Finnish Ayrshires but without sacrificing the progress in protein yield. The relative weights of traits were such that equal importance was assigned to protein % and protein yield. Negative weight was assigned to fat % to
... signed to fat % to ensure it remained unaltered. The MOET work continued until 1994 after which the performance of selected animals has been monitored. During the five years the scheme operated, 276 cows were flushed for embryos, and 2751 embryos were recovered, of which 1810 were transferable. More than 1600 embryos were transferred to recipients, and 813 calves were born. Eighty bull calves were sold for the artificial insemination test scheme. In December 1995 the first 125 ET daughters were evaluated with the national animal model program. Their mean estimated breeding values (EBVs) were +0.13 for protein % and -0.18 for fat % compared with the genetic base of progeny tested sires born in 1986-1988, and the protein yield EBVs were 12 kg above the genetic base. Despite the efficiency of selection, the program was discontinued in 1994. Due to the difficulty of maintaining sufficient control over donor animals, there were fewer than expected embryos per flush and also too few flushes per donor.