PR - SELECTION OF APPROPRIATE REFERENCE FEEDS IS IMPORTANT WHEN ESTIMATING A MARKET VALUE FOR PASTURE FORAGE
For economic analyses, a price must be placed on the contribution to total value of intermediate products such as pasture forage. The market value approach is one method to do this. It is proposed
that estimating the market value of the total bundle of pasture forage attributes be distinguished from the estimation of individual components of pasture forage. The choice of reference feeds used as technical substitutes when estimating the market value of pasture forage is important, as in this study, differences of up to $130/t DM were identified found when the ‘total bundle of attributes’ was considered. When the individual components of metabolisable energy (ME) and crude protein (CP) were considered, the use of concentrates as reference feeds resulted in more reliable estimates than when conserved fodder was the reference feed. The use of grass hay alone as a reference feed is recommended only when animal maintenance is the focus of economic analyses. This research can assist in evaluating the potential value of new technologies, such as breeding for improved quality traits in pasture species.
Keywords: grazing, plant breeding, economics