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Breeding objectives for Holstein dairy cattle in Iran

A Sadeghi-Sefidmazgi, M Moradi-Shahrbabak, A Nejati-Javaremi, S R Miraei-Ashtiani, P R Amer
Journal of Dairy Science 2012, 95 (6): 3406-18
Trait-by-trait and multiple trait bioeconomic modeling were used to derive farm-specific economic weights (EW) for a wide range of traits under different production and economic circumstances to define breeding objectives for Holstein dairy cattle in Iran. Production parameters and economic data were gathered on 10 dairy farms from March 2008 to February 2010. The EW (economic values multiplied by gene expressions, in US dollars per unit of trait per calf born from sires of self-replacing females in planning horizon of 20 yr) were estimated to be $0.15 per kilogram of milk yield; $1.36 per kilogram of fat yield; -$1.02 per kilogram of protein yield; $4.59 per month of longevity; -$1.22 per kilogram of mature cow weight; -$105.67 for combined somatic cell score and clinical mastitis; -$1.35 and -$0.28 for percentage direct and maternal calving difficulties, respectively; -$3.98 for percentage direct stillbirth; -$0.76 per day of age at first calving; -$0.72 per calving interval day; and $0.91 for percentage 56-d nonreturn rate on averages across investigated farms. The coefficient of variation of economic weights across the 10 farms was lowest for direct calving difficulty and highest for calving interval. The proposed Iranian selection index was compared with selection indices of major countries exporting semen to Iran. Average relative emphasis for production, durability, and health and reproduction, across all exporter countries, was 41, 37.5, and 21.5%, respectively, whereas the respective values were 50, 14, and 36% for the Iranian index. Significant differences in selection indices may potentially decrease the utility of importation of semen as a means of achieving sustainable genetic progress in Iran. Results obtained in this study provide important information about economic values of traits that can be used to improve the Iranian national progeny testing program as well as importation rules for semen to Iran.


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