Onderwerp scriptie

Environmental and economic consequences of crossbreeding and using sexed sperm in dairy production - Rosemarie Vis

Dairy cows produce about 4% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The use of crossbreds and sexed sperm was investigated as mitigation strategy to reduce GHG emissions. In addition an economic analysis was accomplished to investigate whether the use of crossbreds and/or sexed sperm were economically viable for farmers.

Dairy cows produce about 4% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In 2050 there is an increase in meat consumption expected of 100% compared with the year 2000. The use of crossbreds and sexed sperm was investigated as mitigation strategy to reduce GHG emissions. An economic analysis was accomplished to investigate whether the use of crossbreds and sexed sperm were economically viable for farmers to implement it. 

The use of crossbreds led to a reduction in GHG emissions of 0.3% per dairy cow and an increased Net Farm Income (NFI) of € 6,429 per dairy farm (80 cows) per lactation compared with the conventional dairy production system. Additional use of sexed sperm led to further reduction of GHG emissions with 0.5% and increased NFI with € 3,099. The use of crossbreds led to the largest difference in NFI, while additional use of sexed sperm led to the largest difference in GHG emissions. Using both crossbreds and sexed sperm most positively influenced ecological and economic aspects. For this reason, the use of crossbreds and sexed sperm is a relevant mitigation strategy to reduce GHG emissions. The maximum effect was just 0.8% lower than in the conventional system. Still implementing is recommended, because the use of crossbreds and sexed sperm had positive ecological and economic effects. 

Model assumptions that highly influenced ecological and economic aspects were the level of milk production, pregnancy rate of sexed sperm, prices of 14 days old veal calves and meat prices. Even by using the lowest values for the tested assumptions, the ecological and economic consequences were still positive for using crossbreds and sexed sperm. 

Recommendations for further investigation were changes in investigated dairy production systems and increasing the dose of sexed sperm. Furthermore it is recommended to use a dynamic model to calculate ecological and economic consequences for next generations and assuming a lower additional level of milk production. To lower the hurdle for dairy farmers to make use of sexed sperm, the economic break-even point of fertility rates could be calculated, which tells at what fertility level the economic effect is zero.



Student: RM Vis

Supervisor: dr ir E Mollenhorst

36 Ects