Determining the economic value of daily dry matter intake and associated methane emissions in dairy cattle

Richardson, C.M.; Baes, C. F.; Amer, P.R.; Quinton, C.; Martin, P.; Osborne, V.R.; Pryce, J.E.; Miglior, F. (2019). Determining the economic value of daily dry matter intake and associated methane emissions in dairy cattle. Animal, 14(1), pp. 171-179. Cambridge University Press 10.1017/S175173111900154X

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Feed represents a substantial proportion of production costs in the dairy industry and is a useful target for improving overall system efficiency and sustainability. The objective of this study was to develop methodology to estimate the economic value for a feed efficiency trait and the associated methane production relevant to Canada. The approach quantifies the level of economic savings achieved by selecting animals that convert consumed feed into product while minimizing the feed energy used for inefficient metabolism, maintenance and digestion. We define a selection criterion trait called Feed Performance (FP) as a 1 kg increase in more efficiently used feed in a first parity lactating cow. The impact of a change in this trait on the total lifetime value of more efficiently used feed via correlated selection responses in other life stages is then quantified. The resulting improved conversion of feed was also applied to determine the resulting reduction in output of emissions (and their relative value based on a national emissions value) under an assumption of constant methane yield, where methane yield is defined as kg methane/kg dry matter intake (DMI). Overall, increasing the FP estimated breeding value by one unit (i.e. 1 kg of more efficiently converted DMI during the cow’s first lactation) translates to a total lifetime saving of 3.23 kg in DMI and 0.055 kg in methane with the economic values of CAD $0.82 and CAD $0.07, respectively. Therefore, the estimated total economic value for FP is CAD $0.89/unit. The proposed model is robust and could also be applied to determine the economic value for feed efficiency traits within a selection index in other production systems and countries.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Institute of Genetics
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Baes, Christine Francoise

Subjects:

500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

1751-7311

Publisher:

Cambridge University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Christine Francoise Baes

Date Deposited:

23 Oct 2019 08:44

Last Modified:

22 Dec 2019 02:44

Publisher DOI:

10.1017/S175173111900154X

PubMed ID:

31327334

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.133998

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/133998

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