February 23, 2019

About Dutch Proofs

The NVI is the total merit index that is used in the Netherlands and Flanders for ranking bulls with the aim of putting those bulls at the top that are able to produce daughters that come closest to the national breeding goal. NVI is one of the best tools to help with that quest.

Using NVI in your breeding programme will lead to:
· Improvement of production and longevity;
· Lower culling rates, which means fewer replacements and thus a higher income;
· More fertile and healthier cows, which will have a positive effect on income and consumer acceptance.

NVI is derived from a formula that takes into consideration three different components: Production, Health and Conformation.

Below the underlying traits are given and their contribution to the NVI.


In the table below the genetic gain (in breeding values) from selection with NVI after 1 generation is given.

 Trait Gain Value
 Milk 272 Kg
 Fat 13 Kg
 Protein 8.7 Kg
 Longevity 200 Days
 Udder health 2.3 Pnt
 Udder 1.8 Pnt
 Feet & Legs 2.2 Pnt
 Calving interval 0.8 Pnt
 Interval from first to last insemination 1.0 Pnt
 Calving ease (paternal) 1.4 Pnt
 Maternal calving process 1.1 Pnt
 Vitality (paternal) 0.7 Pnt
 Maternal vitality 0.9 Pnt

Understanding Dutch Type proofs

Understanding Dutch type proofs is not as difficult as you might think. The values and ranges of the Dutch proofs maybe look different from what you are used to, but if you compare them to US, Canadian and German proofs they are quite easy to understand. The graph shows the ranges of the proofs in the four different countries. For example, a bull with a breeding value of 108 on the Dutch scale is comparable with a US bull at +2.00 PTAT or a Canadian bull at +10 Conformation.

As you can see from the distribution of indexes, 95% of the bulls have breeding values between 92 and 108. This means that bulls with a proof over 108 represent the top 2.5% of the breed.

This principle applies to any of the Dutch type traits, both the linears and the composites, and also to the Dutch proofs for management and health traits like longevity, udder health, and fertility.

dutch proofs

Figure: Comparison of Type proofs


CRV breeding programme is not looking for extreme type in cows but for balanced and functional conformation. Cows need to have good locomotion and the ability to eat plenty of forage. Moreover, a well-balanced conformation will contribute to a healthy cow. According to CRV conformation is built up in frame, dairy strength, udder and feet & legs. The MRY breed is also scored on muscularity. In addition, udder and feet & legs are incorporated in the NVI. Using a sire with a breeding value of 112 for udder or feet & legs on a cow with a breeding value of 100 leads to an increase of 2.0 and 1.2 points on the classificaiton scale, respectively.


NVI takes milk production into account by using the Inet index (Net Profit Index Milk Production). This index describes the net profit from one cow in its lifetime production. It is an estimated calculation in euros, where kg of milk, kg of fat and kg of protein are taken into account. This amount of money is the total income of the kg of milk, fat or protein minus the feeding costs to produce this milk. These production costs are all based on the Dutch and Flemish situation.


High longevity means less culling, lower rearing costs and above all higher lifetime yields. The average score for Longevity is 0 and is expressed in days. The standard deviation is 270 days.

  • Bulls with a longevity breeding value > 0 have daughters with high longevity, staying longer in the herd.
  • Bulls with a longevity breeding value < 0 have daughters with below average longevity. On average cows are culled earlier.

Every point for longevity above 0 increases the average longevity of the bull’s daughters with 0.5 days. So if the bull of your choice has a longevity of 500 days, this means that his daughters will be on average 250 days longer in production.

Birth index

This index is made up of all the traits that influence the birth of the calf and are influenced by the dam and the calf itself.
Costs that are accounted for are reduced production due to difficult calving, reduced fertility, early culling and veterinary costs. In particular, the potential loss of the calf is a significant cost item.

The traits corresponding to the birth index include:

  • Calving ease (paternal)
  • Maternal calving process (MCP)
  • Vitality (paternal)
  • Maternal vitality

Using a bull with a breeding value for calving ease and MCP of 104 on a cow with a breeding value of 100 will results in around 1.8% less difficult births will in heifers and the combination of the same bull with the older cows will produce around 0.9% less difficult births. For breeding values under 100, the opposite applies: namely more difficult births, shorter gestation length and lower birth weight.

In addition, there is also a clear difference between heifers and higher parities regarding the paternal and maternal vitality. A sire with a breeding value of 104 for paternal (direct) vitality means that heifers will have around 3.2% more live-born calves from a bull and the combination of the same bull with older cows will give around 0.7% more live-born calves from the same bull. A sire with a breeding value of 104 for maternal vitality means that the female offspring of a bull will have 4.8% more live-born calves as heifers and 0.7% more live-born calves as older cows.

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CRV is also your partner in Grassland genetics.

Would be farmers..


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CRV is also your partner in Grassland genetics.

Would be farmers..


Black and red peacefully together.

I am curious...

We want to get milked!