Incorporation of the grazing utilization subindex and new updates to the Pasture Profit Index

T Tubritt, L Shalloo, T J Gilliland, N McHugh, M O'Donovan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Grazing efficiency has been shown to differ between perennial ryegrass varieties. Such differences affect the utilization of grass within grazing systems, influencing the profitability of grass-based ruminant production systems. The Pasture Profit Index (PPI) is an economic merit grass variety selection tool developed to identify varieties with the greatest economic potential for grass-based dairy production systems. A new grass utilization subindex was developed and incorporated into the PPI to identify varieties with superior grazing efficiency. The subindex rewards varieties with superior grazing efficiency, measured as Residual Grazed Height, as these varieties allow increased amounts of herbage dry matter to be used by grazing animals. The economic values of all other traits within the PPI were reviewed and updated to ensure that the index was reflective of the current economic scenarios with appropriate assumptions included in the models, thus ensuring that varieties excelling in the agronomic traits with the greatest effect on profitability were recognized. The difference between the highest and lowest performing varieties for the grass utilization trait ranged from €23 to -€24. A range of €211 to €43 was recorded between the highest and lowest ranked varieties within the updated PPI. Spearman's rank correlation between the updated and original PPI lists was 0.96. The introduction of the utilization subindex will allow farmers to make informed variety selection decisions when reseeding pasture, particularly on their grazing platforms and it will allow a demand-based communication process between the farmer and the grass merchant or breeder, ultimately affecting trait selection for future breeding strategies. [Abstract copyright: The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. and Fass Inc. on behalf of the American Dairy Science Association®. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).]
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Early online date09 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 09 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • economic ranking index
  • grazing dairy systems
  • perennial ryegrass
  • variety evaluation

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