Crossbred cows are a significant proportion of the New Zealand dairy herd and are gaining popularity in the U.S. (McAllister, 2001). Crossbreeding can result in increased farm profit in some economic circumstances (Lopez-Villalobos et al., 2000; Van Raden, 2001) where payment systems reward milk solids and penalise volume of milk.  Crossbreeding can benefit traits such as reproduction, health and survival, which sometimes have large influences on farm profit.  Accumulated effects of heterosis for individual traits can result in significant economic heterosis (Touchberry, 1992 ; McAllister et al., 1994). Economic heterosis can be defined as the difference in farm profit between the crossbreed herds and the average of the straightbreed herds. Economic heterosis can also arise from breed complementarity in the absence of heterosis for individual traits (Moav, 1973). The objective of this paper was to investigate economic effects of breed complementarity and heterosis for individual traits in a pastoral system of milk production.

Nicolas Lopez-Villalobos, Dorian J Garrick

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 2002. Session 1, , 1.37, 2002
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