# Implementation of an Economic Lifetime Net Merit for the Dual-Purpose German Black Pied Cattle Breed

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## Abstract

**:**

## 1. Introduction

## 2. Materials and Methods

#### 2.1. Phenotype Data for Carcass Weight, Quality, and Marginal Profit

_{class}) per kg carcass weight was calculated as the feed ration for a daily gain of 1200 g for young bulls. The average fattening costs for every additional kg of carcass weight were calculated with 2.15 EUR/kg [20]. If no carcass conformation data was available, the average quality “R3” (corresponding to carcass conformation class “R” and fat class “3”) with a price of 3.53 EUR/kg was assumed ($m{p}_{R3}$ = 3.53 EUR/kg − 2.15 EUR/kg = 1.38 EUR/kg) since around 75% of DSN young bulls were classified as “R3” (Table S1). The prices were average pay-out prices over the last 15 years. We checked if there could be a trend for future predictions seen, but there was not a clear trend which could be used, e.g., for the next generation interval. To account for a lifetime net merit, the marginal profit was multiplied with the total number of male calves during a functional herd life of a cow lowered by a stillbirth rate of 8.8% among all male calves from heifers and cows (n = 1.37 male calves of a cow’s functional herd life).

#### 2.2. Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs)

#### 2.3. Adjustment of the Marginal Profit for DSN

#### 2.4. DSN Net Milk and DSN Net Fitness

#### 2.5. Generating an EBV for Carcass Weight (eCW)

- 1.
- The mean age at slaughter was 603 days. The carcass weight (CW) of each young bull j (j = 1,...,n) was up- or downscaled to 600 days using the Gompertz function [9] in Equation (3):$$sCW=C{W}_{j,t}+\left(\alpha {e}^{-b{e}^{-c\times 600}}-\text{}\alpha {e}^{-b{e}^{-ct}}\right),$$
_{jkl}) was obtained through adjustment of the scaled carcass weight ($sC{W}_{j}$) of each young bull j (j = 1,...,n) for herd (n = 2) and year of slaughter (n = 17) using a linear model (Equation (4)):$$cC{W}_{jkl}=\text{}sC{W}_{j}+\text{}her{d}_{k}+\text{}yea{r}_{l}+\mathsf{\epsilon},$$ - 2.
- The corrected carcass weights ($cC{W}_{jkl}$) of young bulls were grouped as progeny group per sire
_{m}$(pC{W}_{sire},n=33)$ (Equation (5)):$$pC{W}_{sire}=\text{}\mathrm{mean}\left(cC{W}_{jkl}\right)+sir{e}_{m}+\mathsf{\epsilon},$$

^{2}of carcass weight using Equation (6):

^{2}= 0.31.

- 3.
- The index value per sire (b
_{sire}) based on the number of progeny (n) [24] was calculated using h^{2}for carcass weight (Equation (7)):$${b}_{sire}=\frac{2n}{n+\text{}\frac{4-{h}^{2}}{{h}^{2}}}\text{}$$

#### 2.6. DSN Net Beef Includes Carcass Conformation and Fat Quality

#### 2.7. DSN Net Merit and Correlation to EBVs

## 3. Results

#### 3.1. DSN Net Merit for 33 DSN Sires

#### 3.2. DSN Net Merit Sub-Indices Patterns of DSN Sires

#### 3.3. Comparison between DSN Net Merit and EBVs

## 4. Discussion

## 5. Conclusions

## Supplementary Materials

## Author Contributions

## Funding

## Institutional Review Board Statement

## Informed Consent Statement

## Acknowledgments

## Conflicts of Interest

## References

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**Figure 1.**Patterns for 33 DSN sires based on the sub-indices of DSN Net Merit. Each sire is represented by a triangle connecting DSN Net Milk (dots on x-axis), DSN Net Fitness (rotated quadrats on left y-axis), and DSN Net Beef (squares on right y-axis) in Euro. The color of a triangle depends on the DSN Net Merit of the sire (blue most positive, red most negative). The sires were grouped by their combination of positive (+) and/or negative (−) sub-indices.

**Figure 2.**Heatmap of Pearson’s correlation coefficients between DSN Net Merit and its sub-indices with EBVs from the breeding evaluation in August 2019. Only EBVs with at least one significant correlation (P < 0.05) to DSN Net Merit or a sub-index are shown. Significant correlations (P < 0.05) are highlighted with an asterisk *. Correlation coefficients are highlighted in a gradient from blue for perfect negative (r = −1) over white for no correlation (r = 0) to red for perfect positive correlation (r = 1).

**Table 1.**EBVs included in the three sub-indices and their contribution to dual-purpose German Black Pied cattle breed net merit. Estimated breeding values included in the calculation of the DSN Net Merit composed of the sub-indices DSN Net Milk, DSN Net Fitness, and DSN Net Beef. For each EBV, the marginal profit in Euro per standard deviation is listed for DSN and German Holsteins [18]. Calculations of the marginal profit include the respective factor for lactation length and average number of lactations within each breed or number of calvings (3) during functional herd life. Furthermore, the financial contribution (in%) of each sub-index to DSN Net Merit is listed. Equations for the calculation of the marginal profit of EBVs are listed in Tables S2 and S3.

EBV | $\mathit{s}{\mathit{d}}_{\mathit{E}\mathit{B}\mathit{V}}$ | Unit | $\mathit{m}{\mathit{p}}_{\mathit{E}\mathit{B}\mathit{V}}$ | Contribution to DSN Net Merit (%) | |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

DSN (EUR) | Holstein (EUR) | ||||

DSN Net Milk | 52.84 | ||||

Fat | 25.1 | kg | 195.55 | 197.72 | 26.50 |

Protein | 19.8 | kg | 247.17 | 248.76 | 33.50 |

Lactose | 33.1 | kg | −52.79 | −51.13 | −7.15 |

DSN Net Fitness | 43.43 | ||||

Functional herd life (RZN) | 12 | d | 164.21 | 258.69 | 22.25 |

Calving to first insemination cows (CFc) | 12 | d | 6.13 | 6.05 | 0.83 |

First to last insemination Heifers (FLh) | 12 | d | 7.20 | 10.35 | 0.98 |

Cows (FLc) | 12 | d | 39.09 | 52.06 | 5.30 |

Still birth rate maternal (SBm) | 12 | % | 12.09 | 12.81 | 1.64 |

Still birth rate direct (SBd) | 12 | % | 9.36 | 9.87 | 1.27 |

Calving ease maternal (CEm) | 12 | % | 4.03 | 4.03 | 0.55 |

Calving ease direct (CEd) | 12 | % | 5.03 | 5.03 | 0.68 |

Calf survival (RZcalfhealth) | 12 | % | 73.33 | 54.61 | 9.94 |

DSN Net Beef | 3.73 | ||||

Carcass weight eCW (class “R3”) | 15 | kg | 28.32 | - | 3.84 |

Carcass fat class | 0.4 | class | −0.82 | - | −0.11 |

**Table 2.**Summary of 33 DSN sires for DSN Net Merit, DSN Net Milk, DSN Net Fitness, and DSN Net Beef for a cow’s lifetime, and RZG on a relative scale (population mean 100). Basic data originate from the breeding evaluation in August 2019.

Index | Min | Mean | Median | Max | SD |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

DSN Net Merit (EUR) | −1114 | −113 | −143 | +709 | ±473 |

DSN Net Milk (EUR) | −1087 | −180 | −180 | +566 | ±403 |

DSN Net Fitness (EUR) | −258 | +68 | +65 | +465 | ±197 |

DSN Net Beef (EUR) | −75 | −1 | +1 | +67 | ±28 |

RZG (relative to population mean 100) | 65 | 94 | 97 | 121 | 12 |

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**MDPI and ACS Style**

Meier, S.; Arends, D.; Korkuć, P.; Kipp, S.; Segelke, D.; Filler, G.; Brockmann, G.A. Implementation of an Economic Lifetime Net Merit for the Dual-Purpose German Black Pied Cattle Breed. *Agriculture* **2021**, *11*, 41.
https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11010041

**AMA Style**

Meier S, Arends D, Korkuć P, Kipp S, Segelke D, Filler G, Brockmann GA. Implementation of an Economic Lifetime Net Merit for the Dual-Purpose German Black Pied Cattle Breed. *Agriculture*. 2021; 11(1):41.
https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11010041

**Chicago/Turabian Style**

Meier, Saskia, Danny Arends, Paula Korkuć, Sandra Kipp, Dierck Segelke, Günther Filler, and Gudrun A. Brockmann. 2021. "Implementation of an Economic Lifetime Net Merit for the Dual-Purpose German Black Pied Cattle Breed" *Agriculture* 11, no. 1: 41.
https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11010041