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One size fits all? – The relationship between the value of genetic traits and the farm system

Author

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  • Neal, Mark
  • Fulkerson, William

Abstract

The wide use of artificial insemination by dairy farmers has facilitated the development of a multi-billion dollar international market in animal genetics. In the major western dairy producing nations, each country has developed a single index to rank bulls, based on the value of traits they are expected to pass on to their offspring. One of the assumptions behind these indexes is that there is a positive linear relationship between profit (and welfare) with increases in a particular trait, regardless of the farm system. In this paper, it is shown, with examples, that the assumption of linearity is false. More importantly, it is shown that for a combination of reasons, including risk aversion, constraints and other issues, the optimal direction of genetic improvement for New Zealand dairy farmers on an individual and industry level could be quite different. Alternatives to the “one size fits all” index are described.

Suggested Citation

  • Neal, Mark & Fulkerson, William, 2006. "One size fits all? – The relationship between the value of genetic traits and the farm system," 2006 Conference (50th), February 8-10, 2006, Sydney, Australia 139884, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aare06:139884
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/139884
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael T. Wallace & Joan E. Moss, 2002. "Farmer Decision-Making with Conflicting Goals: A Recursive Strategic Programming Analysis," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 82-100.
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