Seen in retrospect, pig breeding and genetics of a decade ago now seems
fairly simple and straight forward. The important economic traits had been
identified and their genetic parameters estimated, and these had been put
together into selection indexes to provide the most efficient method of improve
ment. Deficiencies in the old progeny testing schemes had been exposed and
improved methods of testing and selection were proposed and put into practice.
Generally there was quick uptake by industry, with real selection effort for
performance traits in breeding herds, and use of structures to reduce the dis
semination lags to commercial producers. At the same time, the advantages of
crossbreeding were becoming appreciated, and crossbreds or hybrids became more
widely used in commercial production in most countries. With the sale of
improved hybrid females to support moderately sized breeding programs, private
breeding companies saw an opportunity to develop and compete with the traditional
pedigree breeders and their national improvement schemes.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 5. Plenary sessions, , 541–547, 1982
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