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300 million breeding values a day

June 15, 2016

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During the last 40 years Topigs Norsvin has moved from writing performance information in a physical book to storing all data in large databases. IT has evolved from providing only data storage, towards an internal partner in collecting and storing data and delivering information at the right moment.
Since the introduction of our breeding database Pigbase in 2004, the number of animals and phenotypic measures registered in Pigbase has increased rapidly from just under 15 million to over 35 million. And for several years now, genomics data, DNA information needed for breeding value estimation, has been stored in Pigbase as well.

Phenotypic and genomics data is provided on a daily basis to our genetic nucleus group for breeding value estimation. Over 300 million breeding values are used daily to calculate the Total Index for all animals. Relevant changes in Total Indexes are provided to our customers every day via different channels.

In the history of measurement data collection, Topigs Norsvin has collected over 72 million individual finishing measures (weight, backfat, muscle, etc.) and data from over 14 million sow reproduction cycles.

For DNA data, in the last 3 years alone, the number of SNP results collected and stored adds up to almost 2 billion (factor 25 more than all collected finishing and reproduction data combined)! This DNA data does not even take into account the amount of data and processing speed needed for research and development, which is provided via the HPC of Breed4Food. Besides DNA data, the use of processed computer data like feeders, sorters, but also camera images and CT scan data will increase the amount and size of measurement data as well.

IT challenges in the coming years will be the continuous, vast increase of data used in breeding value estimation as well as DNA technology that will lead to a large increase in DNA data used in breeding value estimation. Final challenge will be to provide easy and quick information based on all these data, to support Topigs Norsvin’s breeding program and our clients.