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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Forage Breeding Guidelines for the Potential Economic Benefits of Improving Yield and Quality1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 67 No. 2, p. 237-240
    Received: July 8, 1974

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  1. J. S. Shenk2



Forage breeders need a method for predicting the potential economic benefits of animal production from experimental strains or breeder lines, based on yield and quality determinations early in the breeding program. Benefits must be expressed in terms of increased animal response (i.e. dairy cow milk production).

An apropriate mathematical model was developed to simulate the plant-animal response factors, in which maximum milk production was to be achieved from rations of forage supplemented with corn (Zea mays L.) and soybean [Glycine max. (L.) Merr.] oil meal.

The model showed that if either net energy were improved by 0.1 Mcal/kg, protein increased by 4.3%, or yield by 0.79 metric tons of dry matter (DM)/ha, a $43/ha return may be achieved above a standard cultivar yielding 9.9 metric tons DM/ha, with a net energy value of 1.35 Mcal/kg and 16.0% protein. If net energy, protein, and yield were improved simultaneously, the results were largely additive. The model was applied to actual yield and quality data obtained for 10 experimental orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) synthetics to demonstrate the practicality of this approach. The implications of possible changes in the assumptions used to derive this model are discussed.

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