Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, Vol 82, No 2 (2017)

Genetic Parameters of Austrian Fleckvieh Cattle in Organic and Conventional Production Systems with Different Levels of Management Intensity

Christina PFEIFFER, Elisabeth REITER, Christian FUERST, Brigit FUERST-WALTL

Pages: 93-96


Improvement of breeding and management has resulted in a considerable improvement of production and many fitness traits in Austrian dairy cattle. Apart from that, a variety of different dairy production systems, comprising organic, extensive to intensive systems can be observed in Austria. It can be assumed that different breeding goals exist in different production systems which would cause differences in genetic parameters and would imply the necessity of adapted breeding objectives. Therefore, the aim of the study was to estimate genetic parameters of three different production systems (organic, conventional low and high level of farm intensity) for three productions (milk kg, fat kg, protein kg) and six fitness traits (persistency, somatic cell score, functional longevity, milking speed, udder health index and fertility index) using an approximate multivariate two-step approach. In general, heritabilities and genetic correlations were similar in all three production systems. Heritabilities ranged from 0.04 for fertility index for the farms with a low level of farm intensity to 0.65 for milk kg for farms with a high level of farm intensity. Almost no deviations were found between the genetic correlations across the defined production systems. Due to the similar results it can be concluded that breeding objectives are similar in different production systems and currently breeding objectives do not need to be adjusted.


genetic correlations, heritabilities, organic, extensive and intensive production system, approximate multivariate two-step approach

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