Weighting factors (b) derive from marginal economic values (MEVs), which derive from cost/performance parameters. Sensible approach: start with b=MEV, and evaluate trait responses. These may disappoint, usually resolved by modifying b towards acceptable patterns. This reduces overall DG, but has sound reasons: overfocus on the population's weak traits (countering non-compensatory customer attitudes), and/or neutralize genetic trait antagonisms. Breeding goal traits separate as (1) classical: growth/backfat depth; (2) high-tech: litter size/feed intake; (3) antagonistic: mortality; (4) novel: boartaint; (5) prospective: meat quality; (6) vague-MEV: leg soundness/muscling. Monopolistic markets support unconventional breeding goals. Companies competing on particular markets may have different breeding goals due to (i) different antagonisms to neutralize, (ii) different weaknesses to compensate, (iii) creative deviations from the mainstream cost-benefit approach. Trait groups 4 and 5 will become more important in relation to animal welfare and pollution. G×E does not affect breeding goals much.

Pieter W Knap

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Genetic Improvement Programs: Breeding objectives, economics of selection schemes, and advances in selection theory, , 007, 2014
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