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Use of sexed semen and female genotyping affects genetic and economic outcomes of Montbéliarde dairy herds depending on the farming system considered.

Abstract : Genomic evaluation of cows and the use of sexed semen have recently provided opportunities for commercial dairy farmers to accelerate genetic progress at the herd level by increasing both selection accuracy and selection intensity. Because implementing genomic tests or using sexed semen generate extra costs, a higher investment capacity of the farm is required. In this study, we compared the effect of female genotyping alone or combined with the use of sexed semen on genetic and economic performance of the herds. Three typical Montbéliarde herds with different farming systems were considered: a 77-cow herd producing milk at a high price sold to make cheese with a protected designation of origin, a 60-cow herd producing organic milk at a medium price sold for dairy, and a 120-cow herd producing standard milk at a lower price sold for dairy. Eight alternative scenarios were simulated over a 10-yr period for each herd, with combinations of the following: use (or not) of dairy sexed semen, use (or not) of beef breed semen, use (or not) of female genotyping at 15 d of age. A mechanistic, stochastic, and dynamic model was used to mimic the farmer's daily decisions and the individual cow's biology. Heifers (80%) and first-lactation cows (30%) that ranked highest on the French total merit index (France's national dairy index) were inseminated with sexed semen to ensure replacement and to maximize genetic gain, when sexed semen was used. During the 10 yr of simulation, scenarios that included sexed semen (whether female genotyping was used or not) gained, on average, one extra year of overall genetic gain over scenarios that did not include sexed semen. During the same period, scenarios that used female genotyping (whether sexed semen was used or not) gained, on average, 5 mo of overall genetic gain over scenarios using parent average only. The highest gains in net margin were always obtained when combining use of sexed semen with terminal crossbreeding. Maximum genotyping prices under which routine female genotyping is economically valuable (breakeven prices of genotyping) were under €37. Maximum genotyping prices, such that the female genotyping costs are refunded within 10 yr of investment (investor genotyping price), were under €26. However, they would be higher over a longer period of use because genetic gain is cumulative. Because genotyping price is expected to decrease in the future, female genotyping will be worthwhile if combined with the use of sexed semen and beef breed semen.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 10:47:39 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, February 2, 2022 - 5:42:07 PM

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Marie Bérodier, Mickael Brochard, Didier Boichard, Charlotte Dezetter, Nathalie Bareille, et al.. Use of sexed semen and female genotyping affects genetic and economic outcomes of Montbéliarde dairy herds depending on the farming system considered.. Journal of Dairy Science, American Dairy Science Association, 2019, 102 (11), pp.10073-10087. ⟨10.3168/jds.2018-16041⟩. ⟨hal-02628334⟩

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