The relative economic importance ( economic weights) of 18 traits was determined for Holstein and Charolais sires used in a dairy production system applying crossbreeding with beef sires and in a cow- calf pasture crossbreeding system with integrated fattening of surplus animals. A bioeconomic model containing a profit function was used for the calculations in both systems. Discounted expressions for direct and maternal components of the traits during an investment period of 25 yr were calculated using the gene- flow technique. The relative economic weights for some traits or trait components of the dairy sires differed substantially between the purebred and crossbred dairy systems. There were also meaningful differences among the relative economic weights of traits for beef sires, depending on whether these bulls were used for terminal crossing with F1 females in the cow- calf pasture system ( backcrossing), for crossing in dairy herds producing slaughter animals, or for crossing in dairy herds producing F1 females for the cow- calf pasture system. We therefore recommend construction of specific sets of subindices for dairy and beef sires to allow users to rank the bulls according to expected merit of their progeny in specific production systems.
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