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A Hedonic model of Canadian dairy farmer Holstein-semen purchases

  • Author / Creator
    Frias Luna, Aggar A
  • The dairy industry in Canada has undergone huge changes in the last few decades. While the average annual milk production per cow grew over three times by 2015 (average rose to 8.65 Hectolitres per and reached 9.5 Hectolitres in 2018) from 1995 levels (2.5 Hectolitres a year per cow on average), the number of farms across the country continues to shrink. One key element of change may concern the genetic makeup of the cow herds: Canadian farmers have succeeded in producing higher-yielding cows through their breeding choices. Moreover, the incorporation of genomics into the toolset of sire selection in 2008 brought new possibilities to attain genetic gains in cattle herds. Semen selection decisions are hence critical to dairy operations’ efficiency and productivity levels. Characterizing farmers’ preferences towards the different sire traits during sire selection can help describe the importance of particular traits in the industry and ultimately, continue to move the dairy sector towards sustainable efficient production. Canadian dairy farmers’ preferences for sire attributes before and after the increased use of genomic technology are studied to help understand producers’ breeding decision-making process. This research is aimed at evaluating trait importance in sire selection decisions and if a shift in trait valuation is observable with the use of genomics from 2008, when genomic tools became more widely used in Canada, to 2016. Following Richard and Jeffrey’s (1996) last analysis of dairy farmers’ valuation of sire traits in Canada, this study expands the application of econometric estimations on market transactions of Holstein semen to examine dairy farmers’ preferences for the different production and type traits. The hedonic price modeling performed in this study offers an update of Holstein sire trait valuation for the average Canadian dairy farmer over the course of eight years, those immediate to the introduction of genomics. A variety of econometric functional forms will be used to characterize demand for sire traits. These models will allow the industry to better understand the demand for specific traits, predict future trait demands and ensure that genomic analysis focuses on traits of significant interest to producers.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2021
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-v5fh-en20
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.