AUTHOR=Wu Xiao-Lin, Wiggans George R., Norman H. Duane, Miles Asha M., Van Tassell Curtis P., Baldwin Ransom L., Burchard Javier, Dürr João
TITLE=Statistical Methods Revisited for Estimating Daily Milk Yields: How Well do They Work?
JOURNAL=Frontiers in Genetics
VOLUME=13
YEAR=2022
URL=https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fgene.2022.943705
DOI=10.3389/fgene.2022.943705
ISSN=1664-8021
ABSTRACT=Cost-effective milking plans have been adapted to supplement the standard supervised twice-daily monthly testing scheme since the 1960s. Various methods have been proposed to estimate daily milk yields (DMY), focusing on yield correction factors. The present study evaluated the performance of existing statistical methods, including a recently proposed exponential regression model, for estimating DMY using 10-fold cross-validation in Holstein and Jersey cows. The initial approach doubled the morning (AM) or evening (PM) yield as estimated DMY in AM-PM plans, assuming equal 12-h AM and PM milking intervals. However, in reality, AM milking intervals tended to be longer than PM milking intervals. Additive correction factors (ACF) provided additive adjustments beyond twice AM or PM yields. Hence, an ACF model equivalently assumed a fixed regression coefficient or a multiplier of “2.0” for AM or PM yields. Similarly, a linear regression model was viewed as an ACF model, yet it estimated the regression coefficient for a single milk yield from the data. Multiplicative correction factors (MCF) represented daily to partial milk yield ratios. Hence, multiplying a yield from single milking by an appropriate MCF gave a DMY estimate. The exponential regression model was analogous to an exponential growth function with the yield from single milking as the initial state and the rate of change tuned by a linear function of milking interval. In the present study, all the methods had high precision in the estimates, but they differed considerably in biases. Overall, the MCF and linear regression models had smaller squared biases and greater accuracies for estimating DMY than the ACF models. The exponential regression model had the greatest accuracies and smallest squared biases. Model parameters were compared. Discretized milking interval categories led to a loss of accuracy of the estimates. Characterization of ACF and MCF revealed their similarities and dissimilarities and biases aroused by unequal milking intervals. The present study focused on estimating DMY in AM-PM milking plans. Yet, the methods and relevant principles are generally applicable to cows milked more than two times a day.