PR – Economic Comparison Of Divergent Strains Of Holstein-Friesian Cows In Various Pasture-based Production Systems

The objective of this paper was to compare the economic efficiency of three divergent strains of Holstein-Friesian cows. Each strain was randomly allocated to one of three feeding systems: high milk output per cow from pasture (MP), high concentrate feeding system at pasture (HC), and high milk output per unit area from pasture (HS). Physical performance data was obtained from a 5-yr study conducted previously. A stochastic budgetary simulation model was used to simulate a model farm. The economic performance of each strain and feed system was derived for three production scenarios. Within all scenarios, profit was maximised where production was achieved at minimum cost as demonstrated by the comparably greater profitability of the low concentrate (MP and HS) systems. These results show that exclusive genetic selection for increased milk production results in reduced farm profitability as the productivity gains achieved are outweighed by associated increase in reproductive wastage costs in a pasture-based system.

Keywords: strain of Holstein-Friesian, economic scenario, pasture-based system.

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Author(s): Dillon, B., Horan, B., McCarthy, S., O'Connor, P., Rath, M., Shalloo, L.


Organizations(s): Moorepark Dairy Production Research Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork, School of Agriculture, Food Science & Veterinary Medicine, Dublin