Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Published in 3rd World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, edited by Gordon E. Dickerson and Rodger K. Johnson, 4 vols. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 1986). Copyright © 1986 Board of Regents University of Nebraska.


Intensive milk and beef production is common to the European agricultural areas due to a high density of population. Milk and beef traits are involved in most breeding objectives of dual-purpose cattle.

Various dual-purpose cattle popluations cover a wide range of economic weighting of milk and beef. The optimal weights of milk and beef characters depend on the marginal change in profit, and the time and number of realizations of genetic improvement of the traits. Over-production prevails in the agriculture equilibrium model of Linear Programming can be used to reliably evaluate most of the economic weights of dairy and beef traits.

In the work from ADELHELM et al.(1972), HENZE et al.(1980) and ZEDDIES (1985) four sets of economic weights are derived for milk and beef traits, based on distinct economic situations in the F.R.G.. Then the influence of the different economic weighting on the breeding objective, and the genetic improvement of milk and beef is demonstrated on the breeding plan of a German dual-purpose cattle population.