Breeding Economy and Ecoweight Programme
|Master department||Genetics and Breeding of Farm Animals|
|PDF Info Card||economics_2018|
Program Package ECOWEIGHT
Jochen Wolf (email@example.com)
Marie Wolfová (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Emil Krupa (email@example.com)
Zuzana Krupová (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Eliška Žáková (email@example.com)
Availability and License Conditions
Please, contact the Authors if you interested on using the program ECOWEIGHT, for suggestions to improve the program or for take information about founded bugs of the program.
All programs of the package are freely available.
They are distributed under the conditions of the GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE. Especially take notice of the following parts of the license issues:
Short Description of the Program Package
The program package ECOWEIGHT is intended for the calculation of economic values (weights) of economically important traits in livestock. At the given stage, in its eights version, five programs are available: for beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep and goats, pigs and rabbits.
The program for dairy cattle is the most successful in terms of international application – it has been applied to cattle populations in almost 15 countries (e.g. Finland, France, Italy, Estonia, Slovakia, Hungary, and Brazil)
Part 1 of the program package
Several pasture production systems for beef cattle without production limitation and the dairy production system applying terminal crossing with beef bulls are treated with in the two programs EWBC and EWDC. Economic values can be calculated for beef and dairy cattle. Pure-bred dairy production systems without terminal crossing and without production limitation or with milk and fat quota can be handled. Overall, it is possible to calculate economic weights for 33 characters for beef cattle and 47 characters for dairy cattle. Overall, the economic weights for 33 traits in beef and 47 traits in dairy cattle it can be calculated.
The inclusion of the gene-flow procedure makes it possible to calculate relative economic weights for maternal and direct components of traits as well as for different selection paths. These weights are intended to be used for the construction of selection indices to evaluate breeding animals (in beef cattle above all for bulls and bull dams).
Besides this, the programs will be useful for some economic analyses in different production systems. The impact of production, management and economic circumstances on the economic efficiency of a given production system can be studied.
The users of the programs EWBC and EWDC are recommended to read the papers of Wolfová et al. published 2005 in Livestock Production Science (Wolfová et al., 2005a-b) and 2007 in the Journal of Dairy Science (Wolfová et al., 2007a-b) which describe the basic theory underlying the program and show the program applications described in the journal Czech Journal of Animal Science (Krupa et al., 2005) and Journal of Dairy Science (Krupová et al., 2016). Furthermore, we recommend the paper of Wolfová and Nitter (2004) where the number of discounted expressions is discussed. At present, based on the results from the calculation of economic weights, the ECOWEIGHT program constructs selection indices for the population of the Holstein breed in the Czech Republic (Krupová et al., 2018 and 2019). The results were also used in the Aberdeen Angus breed in the Czech Republic (Wolfová, 2005c; Krupová et al. 2018).
Part 2 of the program package
Part 2 of the package contains the program EWSH1 which is the implementation of a bio-economic model on the PC to simulate effects on life-cycle efficiency from genetic change in production and functional traits of sheep under alternative management systems with one lambing per year. The flock structure is described in terms of animal categories and probabilities of transitions among them. The Markov chain approach is used to calculate the stationary state of the ewe flock. Up to 47 categories of progeny may be defined whereby pure-bred and cross-bred animals may occur in most categories if cross-breeding is used in the system. Due to the similarities of sheep and goat production systems, this program can be fully applied for this livestock species. Overall, economic weights for 41 sheep and goat traits can be calculated (milk production traits, growth traits, carcass traits, functional traits and wool traits) may be estimated. These economic values are intended for developing a breeding objective for sheep.
Similarly to the first program package the algorithm includes both deterministic and stochastic components. Performance for most traits is simulated as the populations mean, but variation in several traits is taken into account. Several performance characteristics for all animal categories (mainly growth and milk production) are calculated. Management options include the mating system and culling strategy for ewes, weaning and marketing strategy of progeny, and feeding system. In the near future we will focus on extending the program to model accelerated (intensive) lambing system in sheep breeding.
The input parameters specified by the user allowed a detailed description of the production system and the economic, management and biological conditions. The program will be also useful for some economic analyses in different production systems. The impact of production, management and economic circumstances on the economic efficiency of a given production system can be studied.
The users of the program EWSH1 are recommended to read the papers of Wolfová et al. published 2009 in the Journal of Dairy Science and Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics (Wolfová et al., 2009a-c) which describe the basic theory underlying the program and show practical applications published in the journal Austr.-Asian Journal of Animal Science (Krupova et al., 2009), Animal (Krupová et al. 2012), in the Czech Journal of Animal Science (Krupová et al., 2013), Spanish J. of Agric. Research (Krupová et al., 2014) a Journal of Central European Agriculture (Krupová et al., 2018).
Part 3 of the program package
The third part of the program package which is distributed as one installation package consists of the programs EWSH2 and GFSH which are documented in two separate manuals. The program for sheep EWSH2 is based on the program EWSH1. Whereas EWSH1 is a stand-alone program, EWSH2 was adopted to be used in connection with the program GFSH which models gene flow in sheep and allows calculating economic weights for direct and maternal trait components. In addition, relative economic weights are calculated to compare each other’s economic importance. In dependence of the production system, one or more runs of EWSH2 are necessary before GFSH is started. Transfer of data between the different runs was necessary to be included in the new program.
Two production systems are modelled in the program GFSH. The first production system is a pure-bred system with one production level where no distinction is made between nucleus and commercial herds. The second system is with terminal crossing where also only one production level is assumed. In this system, two breeds are included. A pure-bred system is modelled for sire breed A. In the production system for dam breed B, a part of progeny are pure-bred animals of breed B and another part of progeny are cross-bred animals AB. That means, the production systems for both breeds are connected via sires from breed A which are crossed to ewes of breed B. Economic weights for direct and maternal trait components are calculated. Furthermore, relative economic weights are computed which allow comparing economic weights between traits.
The bio-economic model for sheep used for the program EWSH2 is based on three papers of Wolfová et al. (2009a-c) and the gene-flow procedure applied to program GFSH is based on the paper of Wolfová and Nitter (2004). Two papers were published dealing with part 3 of the program package in 2011 (Wolfová et al., 2011a-b).
Part 4 of the program package
The EWPIG program forms the fourth part of the ECOWEIGHT program package. Version 1.1.0 allows the calculation of the stationary state of the sow population of the breed(s) concerned and the hybrids needed to calculate the structure of the offspring. Subsequently, to calculate the variables associated with the growth of both pure-bred and cross-bred population, together with the calculation of the nutrient requirements of all animal categories. The program also calculates all costs and revenues, profit throughout the production systems, marginal economic values, and approximate economic weights of features for a single-breed production system as well as two-, three- and four-breed systems. The calculated approximated economic weights take into account the proportions of genes from individual breeds or lines. Calculation of gene flow in the population of all possible combinations of breeds is not yet implemented in this version.
The GFPIG program together with the EWPIG2 program form another part of the ECOWEIGHT program package. This program calculates the actual economic weights of pigs or maternal and direct components, taking into account the proportions of genes of individual breeds or lines and the timing of the expected genetic changes (gene flow) in individual genotypes during defined investment periods in the relevant breeding system. EWPIG2 version 3.0.0 is an extension of EWPIG2 version 2.0.0. EWPIG2 can be run as a standalone program independently of GFPIG, or together with GFPIG. Overall, it is possible to calculate economic weights for 35 traits of pigs.
Biological model for calculating the economic weights of pigs is described in details and applied in four contributions: in the journal Livestock Science (Wolfová et al., 2017 and Krupa et al., 2017), in the Animal journal (Krupa et al., 2019) and in Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics (Krupa et al., 2019).
Software package: Part 5
The EWRAB program, in its current version 2.0.1, takes into account three rabbit breeding systems: 1) pure-bred breeding and rearing of own replacements; 2) cross-breeding for the production of slaughter rabbits and own rearing of pure-bred breeding animals and the purchase of animals for crossing; 3) commercial farms with terminal crossing and purchase of breeding animals for crossing. In terms of reproduction, natural mating and insemination can be taken into account. The growth rate of animals is specific for different age periods and it is even possible to take into account changes in does live weight during reproductive cycles. To calculate the feed requirement and consequently the feed cost for the given category of rabbits the initial live weight and storage of proteins and fat in the body during a given period, the need for digestible energy for preservation, growth and other production (milk, pregnancy) and the defined nutritional value of feed is considered.
Krupa E., Wolfová M., Peškovičová D., Huba J., Krupová Z. (2005): Economic values of traits for Slovakian Pied cattle under different marketing strategies. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 50: 483-492.
Krupa E., Krupová Z., Wolfová M., Žáková E. (2017): Estimation of economic values for traits of pig breeds in different breeding systems: II. Model application to a three-way crossing system. Livestock Science. 2017, 205: 70–78.
Krupa E., Wolfová M., Krupová Z., Žáková E. (2019): Estimation of economic weights for number of teats and sperm quality traits in pigs. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics, in press.
Krupová Z., Wolfová M., Wolf J., Oravcová M., Margetín M., Peškovičová D., Krupa E., Daňo J. (2009): Economic Values for Dairy Sheep Breeds in Slovakia. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci., 22: 1693-1702.
Krupová Z., Wolfová M., Krupa E., Oravcová M., Daňo J., Huba J., Polák P. (2012): Impact of production strategies and animal performance on economic values of dairy sheep traits. Animal, 6: 440–448.
Krupová Z., Krupa E., Wolfová M. (2013): Impact of economic parameters on economic values in dairy sheep. Czech J. of Animal Sci., 58: 21-30.
Krupová Z., Krupa E., Michaličková M., Wolfová M., Kasarda R. (2016): Economic values for health and feed efficiency traits of dual-purpose cattle in marginal areas. J. Dairy Sci., 99: 644-656.
Krupová Z., Wolfová M., Krupa E., Přibyl J. Zavadilová L. (2018): Claw health and feed efficiency as new selection criteria in the Czech Holstein cattle, Czech Journal of Animal Science, 63, 10: 408-418.
Krupová Z., Zavadilová L., Wolfová M., Krupa E., Kašná E. (2019): Udder and claw-related health traits in selection of Czech Holstein cows. Annals of Animal Science, 19, 3: 647–661.
Krupová Z., Wolfová M., Krupa E., Kašná E. , Zavadilová L. (2018): Economic importance of traits in organic system of Angus breed. In: Book of Abstracts of the 69th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 27th – 31st August, 2018, p. 389,
Krupová Z., Krupa E., Wolfová M., Michaličková M. 2014. Impact of variation in production traits, inputs costs and product prices on profitability in multi-purpose sheep. Spanish J. of Agric. Research, 12(4): 902-912.
Krupová Z., Krupa E., Rychtářová J. (2018): Impact of udder health on economics of dairy goat. Journal of Central European Agriculture, 19(4): 897-905
Wolfová M.; Nitter G. (2004). Relative economic weights of maternal versus direct traits in breeding schemes. Livest. Prod. Sci. 88, 117-127.
Wolfová M.; Wolf J.; Pribyl J.; Zahradková R.; Kica J. (2005a): Breeding objectives for beef cattle used in different production systems. 1. Model development. Livest. Prod. Sci. 95, 201-215.
Wolfová M.; Wolf J.; Zahradková R.; Pribyl J.; Dano J. ; Krupa E.; Kica J. (2005b): Breeding objectives for beef cattle used in different production systems. 2. Model application to production systems with the Charolais breed. Livest. Prod. Sci. 95, 217-230.
Wolfová M., Wolf J., Zahrádková R., Krupa E. 2005c. Impact of different economical and production circumstances on the relative importance of traits in beef cattle breeding. Zuchtungskunde, 77(1): 35–46.
Wolfová M.; Wolf J.; Kvapilík J.; Kica J. (2007a). Selection for profit in cattle. I. Economic weights for purebred dairy cattle in the Czech Republic. J. Dairy Sci. 90, 2442-2455.
Wolfová M.; Wolf J.; Kvapilík J.; Kica J. (2007b). Selection for profit in cattle. II. Economic weights for dairy and beef sires in crossing systems. J. Dairy Sci. 90, 2456-2467.
Wolfová M.; Wolf J.; Krupová Z.; Kica J. (2009a): Estimation of economic values for traits of dairy sheep: I. Model development. J. Dairy Sci. 92, 2183-2194.
Wolfová M.; Wolf J.; Krupová Z.; Margetín M. (2009b): Estimation of economic values for traits of dairy sheep: II. Model application to a production system with one lambing per year. J. Dairy Sci. 92, 2195-2203.
Wolfová M.; Wolf J.; Milerski M. (2009c): Calculating economic values for growth and functional traits in non-dairy sheep. J. Anim. Breed. Genet. 126, 480-491.
Wolfová M.; Wolf J.; Milerski M. (2011a): Calculating economic weights for sheep sire breeds used in different breeding systems. J. Anim. Sci. 89, 1696-1711.
Wolfová M.; Wolf J.; Milerski M. (2011b): Economic weights of production and functional traits for Merinolandschaf, Romney, Romanov and Sumavska sheep in the Czech Republic. Small Rumin. Res. 99, 25-33.
Wolfová M., Wolf J., Krupová Z., Krupa E., Žáková E. (2017): Estimation of economic values for traits of pig breeds in different breeding systems: I. Model development. Livestock Science. 2017, 205: 79–87.
Wolfová M., Krupa E., Krupová Z., Žáková E. (2019): Economic weights of maternal and direct traits of pigs calculated by applying gene flow methods. Animal, 13, 6:1127-1136
Other papers related to calculation of economic weights and to program package ECOWEIGHT
Krupa E., Krupová Z., Daňo J., Huba J., Polák P., Tomka J., Hanusová E. (2007): Influence of different feedlot types on production and economic efficiency in Charolais breed. Slovak J. of Anim. Sci., 40: 72-78.
Krupová Z., Oravcová M., Krupa E., Peškovičová D. (2008): Methods for calculating economic weights of important traits in sheep. Review article. Slovak J. Anim. Sci., 41: 24-29.
Krupová Z., Huba J., Daňo J., Krupa E., Oravcová M., Peškovičová D. (2009): Economic weights of production and functional traits in dairy cattle under a direct subsidy regime. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 54: 249–259.
Krupa E., Krupová Z., Oravcová M., Polák P., Tomka J. (2011): Economic importance of the traits for Slovak Pinzgau breed reared in dairy and cow-calf system. Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, Special Issue, University of Zagreb, 76: 255-258.
Wolfová M., Wolf J. (2013): Strategies for definding traits when calculating economic values for livestock breeding: a review. Animal, 7: 1-13.
Krupa E., Přibyl J., Krupová Z., Žáková E. (2017): Repro index in dam breeds of the Czech national breeding program. Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, 82(3): 245-248.
Hietala, P., M. Wolfová, J. Wolf, J. Kantanen, and J. Juga. 2014. Economic values of production and functional traits, including residual feed intake, in Finnish milk production. J. Dairy Sci. 97:1092–1106
Komlósi I., M. Wolfová, J. Wolf, B. Farkas, Z. Szendrei, B. Béri. 2010. Economic weights of production and functional traits for Holstein-Friesian cattle in Hungary. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics, 127: 143–153.
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