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Economic potential of individual variation in milk yield response to concentrate intake of dairy cows

  • G. ANDRÉ (a1), P. B. M. BERENTSEN (a2), G. VAN DUINKERKEN (a1), B. ENGEL (a3) and A. G. J. M. OUDE LANSINK (a2)...


The objectives of the current study were to quantify the individual variation in daily milk yield response to concentrate intake during early lactation and to assess the economic prospects of exploiting the individual variation in milk yield response to concentrate intake. In an observational study, data from 299 cows on four farms in the first 3 weeks of the lactation were collected. Individual response in daily milk yield to concentrate intake was analysed by a random coefficient model. Marked variation in individual milk yield response to concentrate intake was found on all four farms. An economic simulation was carried out, based on the estimated parameter values in the observational study. Individual optimization of concentrate supply is compared with conventional strategies for concentrate supply based on averaged population response parameters. Applying individual economic optimal settings for concentrate supply during early lactation, potential economic gain ranges from €0·20 to €2·03/cow/day.


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