Implementation of an economic lifetime net merit for the dual-purpose german black pied cattle breed

Saskia Meier, Danny Arends, Paula Korkuć, Sandra Kipp, Dierck Segelke, Günther Filler, Gudrun A. Brockmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recently, a Total Merit Index (RZ€) has been developed for German Holstein dairy cattle on the basis of margin in Euro. Our aim was to adjust this lifetime net merit for the dual-purpose German Black Pied cattle breed (DSN) accounting for beef production in addition to milk performance and fitness traits. We used the estimated breeding values of DSN sires and developed a breeding value for carcass weight and quality. Furthermore, we adjusted the German Holstein marginal profits per standard deviation, which are used to calculate the estimated breeding values, to DSN-specific values. The DSN Net Merit is the sum of the three sub-indices DSN Net Milk, DSN Net Fitness, and DSN Net Beef, which contribute to the DSN Net Merit with 52.84%, 43.43%, and 3.73%, respectively. The DSN Net Merit that was calculated for 33 DSN sires ranged between EUR −1114 and +709. The DSN Net Merit strongly correlates with the Total Merit Index. The implementation of the DSN Net Merit is useful for selection and mating decisions. Especially, the sub-index DSN Net Beef, which does not correlate with existing breeding values, can be used to maintain the dual-purpose character of DSN while modestly improving milk yield. The approach can be easily adapted to other dual-purpose breeds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


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