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Research article2004Peer reviewed

Economic values for production and non-production traits in Nordic dairy cattle populations calculated by stochastic simulation

Kulak K, Nielsen HM, Strandberg E


The objective of this paper was to calculate and compare economic values for dairy cattle traits across the Nordic Countries. The stochastic model used was dynamic, and it simulated production, reproduction and health in a dairy herd. Finland and Norway had the highest economic values for milk production, whereas Denmark and Sweden had lower values, assuming a fixed number of cows. Norway had the highest absolute economic values for stillbirth, retained placenta, laminitis, feed intake capacity, milking speed and daily gain. Denmark had the highest absolute economic value for milk fever and calving ease. Finland had the highest economic value for conception rate. Sweden had the lowest economic value for body weight but the highest for temperament. In most cases the differences in economic values were less than two-fold, with greater than two-fold differences for stillbirth (Sweden vs. Finland and Norway), retained placenta (Sweden vs. Norway), laminitis (Sweden vs. Denmark and Norway) and days from calving to first heat (Sweden vs. Finland). The consideration of milk quota, for most traits, caused minor (less than two-fold) changes in economic values. The differences in economic values, for most of the traits, were slight and do not seem to be a hindrance towards a closer cooperation within a joint breeding programme for the Nordic countries

Published in

Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A - Animal Science
2004, Volume: 54, number: 3, pages: 127-138