Environmental Concerns and Willingness to Pay for Genomic Technologies in the Canadian Dairy Industry

Jones, Katherine
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University of Guelph

Meeting the ever-increasing demand for food and tackling climate change are challenges that contemporary agriculture is facing. Recent advances in genomic selection suggest that producers may be able to select for productivity-enhancing and reduced greenhouse gas emission traits simultaneously. Using a 2017 survey of Canadian dairy farmers, this thesis examines the effects of the extent of dairy produces’ concerns about greenhouse gas emissions on the willingness to pay for genomic selection for increased feed efficiency and reduced methane emissions. Producers’ willingness to pay for the technology is elicited using a double bound contingent valuation method. The results show that producers are willing to pay for the trait of increased feed efficiency, and the trait of reduced methane emissions when bundled with an increased feed efficiency trait. The finding of the study has important implications for Canada’s food security strategy and efforts to meet its global environmental commitment.

dairy, genomics, willingness to pay, environmental concerns, feed efficiency