New breeding objectives and selection indices for the Australian dairy industry Academic Article uri icon


  • This study comprises an update of the economic values for dairy traits for the Australian industry and the formulation of updated selection indices. An economic model, which calculates partial economic values for each trait individually, was developed to determine the economic implications of selective dairy breeding, based on the effect of trait changes on the profit of commercial dairy farms in Australia. Selection indices were developed from economic values, which were transformed into base economic weights by including the discounted genetic expressions coefficients. Economic weights (in Australian dollars) were 1.79, 6.92, -0.10, -5.44, 8.84, 7.68, 1.07, 4.86, 1.91, 3.51, 4.90, 0.31, 2.03, 2.00, and 0.59, for milk fat (kg), milk protein (kg), milk volume (L), body weight (kg), survival (%), residual survival (%), somatic cell count (cells/mL), fertility (%), mammary system [Australian Breeding Value (ABV) unit], temperament (ABV unit), milking speed (ABV unit), udder depth (%), overall type (%), fore udder attachment (%), and pin set (%), respectively. The updated economic weights presented in this study constituted the basis of the definition for 3 new indices. These indices were developed from combination of bioeconomic principles, patterns of farmer preferences for trait improvements, and desired gains approaches. The 3 indices, Balanced Performance Index, Health Weighted Index, and Type Weighted Index, have been released to the industry.


  • Byrne, TJ
  • Santos, BFS
  • Amer, PR
  • Martin-Collado, D
  • Pryce, JE
  • Axford, M

publication date

  • 2016