An economic model was developed to compare two different farm systems using the production results and reproductive performance figures derived from an observational study of 14 seasonally calving dairy herds in Victoria. The farm systems modelled were a crossbred herd comprising Jersey x Holstein-Friesian and Holstein-Friesian x (Jersey x Holstein-Friesian) breed types and a herd of Holstein-Friesian cows with farm operating profit as the outcome. A direct comparison of the two farming systems demonstrated a clear advantage in operating profit that averaged A$21,194 for the 267 cows in the crossbred herd compared to the 252 cows in the Holstein-Friesian herd. The difference in profit was due to the higher potential stocking rate of the crossbred herd (2.27 vs 2.15 cows/ha) because of their lower live weight (1 crossbred cow = 0.93 Holstein-Friesian cow) and superior reproductive performance (84% vs 77% pregnancy rate after 14 weeks) resulting in longer survival and reduced investment in replacement rearing costs.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 68, Brisbane, Australia, 84-87, 2008
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