Economic value of milkability in Czech Holstein
Breeding for improved milkability is getting still more emphases especially due to enlarged data availability e.g. from automatic milking system. Though the positive correlation with cow longevity, udder morphology and overall cow mobility, this trait represents a candidate for desirable selection response in such traits. Recently, milkability and some udder traits were employed into the separate robotic index of the Czech Holstein. Selection index of this population is based on the complex of 17 production, functional and exterior traits. To construct a comprehensive selection index and to reach the appropriate selection gain in cow milking ability beside the current traits defined as breeding objectives, economic value (EV) of the trait should also be known. Milkability is usually expressed as milking speed, i.e. as the average amount of milk in kg harvested during cow milking per minute. In economic terms, higher milking ability causes a shorter milking time that saves the costs for milking labour, electrical power, and wear on the milking equipment. Therefore, the bio-economic model EWDC of the software ECOWEIGHT was enriched to provide calculation of EV for this trait. Current production and economic parameters of the local Holstein population were considered in the program as well. For milking speed, an EV of 96.0 €/(kg of milk/min) and per cow and year was calculated. It corresponds to the costs saved by milking a cow with milking speed higher by 1 kg/min than milking a cow with a herd average milking speed. Improving this trait, the yearly milking time of a cow can be reduced by 18 hours on average. About 75% of the EV was coming from saving labour costs and the rest mostly from reduced electricity expenses. Taking into account the overall economic importance of all the 12 breeding goal traits, the economic importance of milkability represented about 6%. Therefore this new trait would noticeably participate in the enhanced selection index of the breed.
Wolfová Marie, Ing., Ph.D.
Krupa Emil, Ing., Ph.D.
Kašná Eva, Ing., Ph.D.
Zavadilová Ludmila, Ing., CSc.
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