Climate change will have direct effects on performance of livestock. Simulations that mimic livestock systems risk misrepresenting performance if these effects are not accounted for. Here, the technical, economic and environmental performance of a Scottish dairy herd under genetic selection (for 7-correlated traits) was investigated using an original simulation model. There were two scenarios: in the control scenario, the technical performance of individuals was not affected by daily weather; in the treatment scenario, technical performance was dynamic to daily weather conditions. Herds were simulated for 20-years. By the final year of the simulation, for herds in the treatment scenario relative to the control scenario, annual gains in gross margin were reduced by 2.1% and gains in greenhouse gas emissions intensity were reduced by 1.7%. Failure to account for weather effects in models that simulate herds into the future will likely cause over-estimation of technical, economic and environmental performance, even in temperate regions such as southwest Scotland.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of 12th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production (WCGALP)|
|Subtitle of host publication||Technical and species orientated innovations in animal breeding, and contribution of genetics to solving societal challenges|
|Publisher||Wageningen Academic Publishers|
|Publication status||First published - 9 Feb 2023|