Dairy cattle production disorders from an economic perspective

Project: PhD

Project Details


Production disorders on dairy farms include animal diseases or health states which are directly linked or impacted by to the production of milk and negatively impact animal performance and/or farm profitability. Main production disorders include mastitis, ketosis, lameness and metritis. The financial impact of each of these production disorders is substantial and, in general, is caused by decreased milk production, treatments (drugs, labour and discarded milk) and early herd removal. The costs associated with these production disorders are the so-called failure costs, reflecting the economics effects due to the fact that the animal fails to reach its full production potential. To date most failure cost calculations in scientific literature focus on estimating the ‘generic’ case of a production disorder using ‘generic’ assumptions either on technical data (such as milk production levels) and/or price input. As a consequence, they refer to the average farms within a production system. When it comes to supporting the decision-making process on the individual farm such outcomes may be experienced as too generic, which creates a discrepancy between estimated failure costs and true on-farm failure costs. Moreover, farmers also invest resources in preventing production disorders, but the economic impact of such preventive management measures has hardly been explored. The overall aim of this dissertation was therefore to gain farm specific insights in ‘how-to’ manage dairy cattle production disorders from an economic perspective to support the farmer’s decision-making process.
Effective start/end date1/12/1224/10/22


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