Bioeconomic modeling to support management and breeding of dairy cows in Costa Rica

B. Vargas Leitón

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


During the past decades, genetic improvement of dairy cattle in Costa Rica has depended upon massive importation of germplasm from temperate countries. This may not be an optimal alternative if genetic x environment interactions are significant or production goals differ among countries. The purpose of this dissertation was to develop a bioeconomic model to describe performance of dairy cows under production circumstances found in Costa Rica. Several studies were undertaken to quantify the effect of genetic and environmental factors on milk yield and reproduction performance of the local cattle population. The final model was used to optimize replacement and inseminations policies for herds with different feeding strategies and to determine the economic values of production and functional traits to be included in a breeding goal. Finally, a study was conducted to compare several breeding strategies on the basis of the genetic response achieved after twenty-five years of selection. When significant genotype x environment interactions were assumed strategies based on selection within the local population performed better than strategies based on importation of semen.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • van Arendonk, J.A.M., Promotor
  • Herrero, M., Promotor, External person
  • Perez, E., Co-promotor, External person
Award date13 Dec 2000
Place of PublicationS.l.
Print ISBNs9789058083296
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • dairy farming
  • economic analysis
  • dairy cows
  • animal breeding
  • models
  • genotype environment interaction
  • costa rica


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