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USA vs Canada – Who is Genetically Superior?

With Canada celebrating its national holiday this week and today being US Independence Day, we thought it only fitting to see which of these two great dairy cattle breeding nations has the edge when it comes to dairy cattle genetics.

We decided to look at 5 areas -Total Index, Production, Health and Fertility, Longevity and the Show Ring.  For each category we calculated the top 100 Canadian or USA bred animals.  For country of origin we used the country they were registered in.  Each area carries a 20 point total.  The following is what we found.

Total Index – BPI

Naturally the US will dominate the TPI list and Canada will dominate the LPI lists so we decided to use our own BPI index as a gauge to determine which country has the top sires in the total balanced index category.  (Read more: Bullvine Performance Index)



Total Index – BPI

While Canada is coming on strong in the genomic sire lists, on the whole the BPI index is dominated by the USA.

Verdict: 3 Points to Canada and 17 Points to the USA


For top production sires we used a weighting of 50% PTAM, 20% PTAP, 5% %PTAP, 20% PTAF, 5% %PTAF



With 82% of the top proven and genomic sires for production, the USA dominates the production section of this competition.  However it is interesting to see that Canada is getting stronger with 30% of the top genomic production sires.  This stronger showing may also be a result of Canada’s national index, LPI having more production weighting than that of the American TPI.

Verdict: 4 Points to Canada and 16 Points to the USA

Health and Fertility

For Health and Fertility we used the following weightings SCS 20%, DPR 20%, SCR 20%, SCE 10%, DCE 10%, SSB 10%, and DSB 10%.



It isn’t surprising, since the USA’s national index, TPI, has a heavier weighting on Health and Fertility, to find that the USA absolutely dominates this list.

Verdict: 2 Points to Canada, 18 Points to the USA


For longevity we used the following weightings -PL 50%, MS 30%, F&L 10%, BC 5% and DC 5%.



Given that Canada does put a high emphasis on type and, as a result longevity, it’s not surprising that Canada does have a strong showing in this category.

Verdict: 3 Points Canada, 17 Points USA

Show Ring Success

For the show ring we decided to take a look at the top 5 placings from this past year’s World Dairy Expo and Royal Winter Fair to see who dominates in the show ring.



One area where Canada does dominate the USA is in the show ring.  At both National Shows Canada came out on top.  Although the USA did have an edge in the cow classes at World Dairy Expo, Canada absolutely dominated the 2013 Royal Winter Fair.

Verdict: 14 Points to Canada and 6 Points to the USA

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Final Verdict: Canada 26 USA 74


Not surprisingly the USA comes out on top of this North American Battle.  In fact the USA comes out on top when compared to any country in the world and Canada comes in 2nd place in the world ranking.  While Canada’s passion for the show ring certainly helps them in this competition, even in the index categories Canada performs better than their cattle numbers would indicate.  Canada has 1/10 the cattle numbers of the USA but wins 15% of the index market share. In the end, national pride always finds a way to wave the flag!!



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