Modern dairy cattle improvement programmes have a profit focus. Given a goal based on profit, defined as income less costs, it is apparent that the traits in the selection objective should take due accord of milk revenue, beef revenue, replacement costs, health costs, reproduction costs, and feed costs. The inclusion of milk and beef revenues in the selection objective is a straightforward process. Accounting for replacement, health and reproduction costs is problematic, partly due to the absence of suitable measurement criteria to allow the ranking of animals for the relevant components of these attributes. With respect to feed costs, these are well known in production circumstances where feed is purchased. However, determining feed costs in grazing circumstances is more difficult. This paper presents an approach for valuing feed from its average revenue and shows the equivalence of this explicit approach to a published alternative. It is then further suggested feed intake be explicitly included in the objective.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 2002. Session 1, , 1.36, 2002
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