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Effects of incorporating environmental cost and risk aversion on economic values of pig breeding goal traits

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Economic values (EVs) of traits, accounting for environmental impacts and risk preferences of farmers, are required to design breeding goals that contribute to both economic and environmental sustainability. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of incorporating environmental costs and the risk preferences of farmers on the EVs of pig breeding goal traits. A breeding goal consisting of both sow efficiency and production traits was defined for a typical Brazilian farrow‐to‐finish pig farm with 1,500 productive sows. A mean‐variance utility function was employed for deriving the EVs at finishing pig level assuming fixed slaughter weight. The inclusion of risk and risk aversion reduces the economic weights of sow efficiency traits (17%) while increasing the importance of production traits (7%). For a risk‐neutral producer, inclusion of environmental cost reduces the economic importance of sow efficiency traits (3%) while increasing the importance of production traits (1%). Genetic changes of breeding goal traits by their genetic standard deviations reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, and excretions of nitrogen and phosphorus per finished pig by up to 6% while increasing farm profit. The estimated EVs could be used to improve selection criteria and thereby contribute to the sustainability of pig production systems.
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Keywords: bio‐economic model; economic values; environmental impact; pigs; risk aversion

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2018

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