National Pork Producers Council Maternal Line Genetic Evaluation: a comparison of growth and carcass traits in terminal progeny.
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The objective of this study was to compare growth and carcass traits of 1,252 progeny of six commercially available dam lines included in the National Pork Producers Council Maternal Line Evaluation Project. Lines compared included one maternal line supplied by each of American Diamond Swine Genetics (ADSG), Danbred NA (DB), two lines supplied by Monsanto Choice Genetics (DK and GPK347), Newsham Hybrids (NH), and Landrace x Large White females supplied by the National Swine Registry (NSR). All females were mated to DB, Duroc-Hampshire terminal sires. Traits analyzed were ADG from 56 to 115 kg live weight, days to 115 kg, backfat thickness measured at the 10th rib, carcass length, dressing percent, and 10th-rib LM area. Carcass traits were adjusted to a carcass weight of 85 kg. The statistical model included fixed effects of maternal line, sex, farrowing group, and finishing unit (farm). All two-way interactions among main effects were tested and removed from final models because they were not significant. In addition, because they were not significant, effects of farm and farrowing group were removed from models for carcass length and 10th-rib backfat thickness, and farm was removed from the model for LM area. Least squares means for ADG ranged from 0.74 to 0.79 kg/d. The GPK347 line had lower ADG and greater days to 115 kg than all other lines (P < 0.05). The ADSG (P < 0.05) and NH (P < 0.01) progeny had lower ADG than DK progeny. The DK line had the fewest days to 115 kg (P < 0.05). Progeny for the DB and NH lines had the least 10th-rib backfat, differing from ADSG, DK, and GPK347 (P < 0.05). Pigs from DB females had the greatest dressing percent, differing from ADSG, DK, GPK347, and NH (P < 0.05). The GPK347 had a lower dressing percent than all other lines (P < 0.05). Progeny of DB females had the greatest LM area, differing from ADSG, DK, GPK347, and NSR (P < 0.05). Offspring from ADSG and GPK347 had the smallest LM area; however, GPK347 and NSR did not differ. Differences in carcass length were statistically significant; however, actual differences were small. Economic weights for these traits relative to reproductive traits must be considered in integrated economic analyses to properly compare differences among lines in net economic value for specific markets.