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Profitabilities of some mating systems for dairy herds in New Zealand

, : Profitabilities of some mating systems for dairy herds in New Zealand. Journal of Dairy Science 83(1): 144-153

The aim of this study was to evaluate the profitability of dairy herds under three mating systems involving the Holstein-Friesian, Jersey, and Ayrshire breeds. Mating systems were straight breeding and rotational cross-breeding using two or three breeds. A deterministic model was developed to simulate the nutritional, biological, and economic performance of dairy herds under New Zealand conditions. Expected performances per cow were obtained using estimates of breed group and heterosis effects, age effects, and age distribution in the herd. Requirements for dry matter in feed were estimated per cow for maintenance, lactation, pregnancy, and growth of the replacements. Stocking rate was calculated by assuming 12,000 kg of dry matter utilized annually per hectare. Productivity per hectare was calculated as performance per cow multiplied by stocking rate. Profitability was the difference between income (sale of milk and salvage value of animals) and costs (related to the number of cows in the herd and the land area farmed). Under current market values for milk and meat, all of the rotational crossbred herds showed superior profitability to the straightbred herds (Holstein-Friesian x Jersey, NZ$505/ha; Holstein-Friesian x Jersey x Ayrshire NZ$493/ha; Jersey x Ayrshire, NZ$466/ha; Holstein-Friesian x Ayrshire, NZ$430/ha; Jersey, NZ$430/ha; Holstein-Friesian, NZ$398/ha; and Ayrshire, NZ$338/ha). Changes in the value for fat relative to protein affected profitability more significantly in herds using the Jersey breed, and changes in the value for meat affected profitabiity more significantly in herds using the Holstein-Friesian and Ayrshire breeds. Results suggested that, under New Zealand conditions, the use of rotational crossbreeding systems could increase profitability of dairy herds under the conceivable market conditions.


PMID: 10659974

DOI: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(00)74865-X

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