The key elements for genetic response in Finnish dairy cattle breeding

  • Jarmo Juga The Finnish Animal Breeding Association, PO Box 40, FIN-01301 Vantaa, Finland
  • Ulla Voutilainen The Finnish Animal Breeding Association, PO Box 40, FIN-01301 Vantaa, Finland

Abstract

This paper reviews some key elements of Finnish animal breeding research contributing to the Finnish dairy cattle breeding programme and discusses the possibilities and problems in collecting data for genetic evaluation, prediction of breeding values both within and across countries, estimation of the economic value of important traits, and selection of bulls and cows. Economic values are calculated for fertility, udder health and production traits when one genetic standard deviation unit (gen. sd.) is changed in each trait independently and the financial returns from selection response in the Finnish dairy cattle breeding programme are estimated. The following components were used to calculate the economic value of mastitis treatments: 1) cost of mastitis including discarded milk and treatment costs, 2) reduction in milk price due to higher somatic cell count, 3) replacement costs and 4) lower production level of the herd due to involuntary culling of cows because of udder problems. A high somatic cell count lowers the price of milk and eventually leads to involuntary culling. For treatments for fertility disorders the following costs were included: 1) treatment costs 2) higher replacement costs and 3) decreased milk production in the herd. Days open included the following costs: 1) extra insemination, 2) reduced annual milk yield and 3) fewer calves born. Animal breeding was found to be a very cost effective investment, yielding returns of FIM 876.9 per cow from one round of selection when the gene flow was followed for over 25 years in the Finnish dairy cattle breeding programme.

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Section
Reviews
Published
Jan 1, 1998
How to Cite
Juga, J., & Voutilainen, U. (1998). The key elements for genetic response in Finnish dairy cattle breeding. Agricultural and Food Science, 7(2), 207-217. https://doi.org/10.23986/afsci.72860