Effect of carcass price fluctuations on genetic and economic evaluation of carcass traits in Japanese Black cattle

T. Ibi, A. K. Kahi, H. Hirooka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The objectives of this study were 1) to investigate the effect of changes in carcass market prices due to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) occurrences on estimates of genetic parameters and economic weights for carcass traits; and 2) to compare direct and indirect approaches for prediction of genetic merit of Japanese Black cattle for profitability of their progeny. The direct approach utilized estimated breeding values of carcass prices, whereas in the indirect approach, selection indices were constructed as products of economic weights and breeding values of component traits. Data were composed of 80,191 carcass records divided into 5 periods based on changes in carcass prices as a result of occurrences of BSE in Japan and the United States. The periods ranged from a period before occurrence of BSE in Japan to a period of beef import restrictions and a rise in prices. Carcass traits analyzed included HCW, LM area, rib thickness, subcutaneous fat thickness, and marbling score (MS). Price traits included carcass unit price and carcass sale price. Estimates of heritability for price traits were moderate (0.32 to 0.46) and slightly sensitive to changes in carcass market prices. Genetic correlations of HCW and LM area with price traits increased and that between MS and carcass sale price decreased with period, whereas estimates of genetic correlation between MS and carcass unit price were high in all periods (0.96 to 0.98). Economic weights for carcass traits varied with periods because carcass prices were highly sensitive to economic importance of traits. Nevertheless, correlations between within-period breeding values for price traits estimated using direct and indirect approaches were high (0.92 to 0.99). This result indicates that selection realized by direct and indirect approaches will provide very similar results. A comparison among within-approach breeding values estimated in different periods showed that the largest differences in breeding values of sires for price traits were between the periods after occurrences of BSE in Japan and in the United States. Economic effects of BSE occurrences influenced the importance of carcass traits and economic merits of price traits through a change of carcass prices from period to period, irrespective of the approach taken in determining the genetic merit of breeding animals for profitability of their progeny.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3204-3211
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Bovine spongiform encephalopathy
  • Carcass price
  • Economic weight
  • Genetic parameter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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