Economic values for milk production and quality traits in south and southeast regions of Brazil


The objective of this study was to calculate economic values for milk (MY), protein (PY) and fat productions (FY) and somatic cell count (SCC) which could be used to compose an economic index to rank animals involved in an international genetic evaluation program of Holstein cattle used in the commercial dairy population in Brazil. The main milk production systems (MPS) prevailing in the South and Southeast were defined based on the feeding management and production level of herds. To calculate feeding costs, energy requirements for the production of one kg of milk with the respective average protein and fat contents of each MPS were calculated. Feeding costs were obtained based on the regional prices of the diets' components. To calculate revenues, milk prices were obtained from the payment tables practiced by seven milk industries. Economic values were calculated from the marginal differences between revenues and costs, for the interest of maximizing the profit, assuming a fixed number of animals in the herd. The average economic values (R$) for MY, PY and FY were 0.51, 6.41 and 1.94, respectively. The economic impact of increasing the original SCC values in the individual records of cows in the population by 1% was -R$ 1.40 per cow, per year. Due to changes observed in the last years in the milk market in Brazil, selection for milk components became economically advantageous. As a result, the calculation of economic values and the proposition of an economic index based on these traits became feasible. Somatic cell count does have an economic impact on the final price of milk and consequently on the annual profit of herds. It has also been used in breeding programs as an indicator of mastitis resistance and should not be neglected in breeding programs of dairy cattle.



dairy cattle, milk composition, selection index