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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether beef herds could increase profitability by reducing production cost per 100 lb (hundredweight [CWT]; ie, 45.4 kg) of calf through implementation of advice from teams of veterinarians and county extension agents supported by university specialists.

Design—Longitudinal study.

Sample Population—6 commercial cow-calf herds comprising 1,927 cows.

Procedure—Teams of veterinarians and county extension agents provided advice on 25 profitable ranch management practices to herd owners for 3 years. Use of each practice in herds was measured on a scale of 1 to 5 for baseline year 1999. Similar measurements were made at the end of each year for comparison with baseline values. Outcomes were measured by standardized performance analysis.

Results—Mean weaning weight of calves per exposed cow of the 6 herds increased significantly from 1999 (2000, 26.8 kg [59 lb; 17%]; 2001, 49.1 kg [108 lb; 31%]; and 2002, 43.2 kg [95 lb; 27%]). Mean cost per CWT of calf decreased significantly from the 1999 value (2000, −$20.04 [−18%]; 2001, −$33.40 [−29%]; and 2002, −$22.52 [−20%]). Additional profits for the 6 herds were $54,407 in 2000, $135,695 in 2001, and $116,089 in 2002 (3-year total of $306,191). Mean increase in management score of herds was positively correlated with increase in net income and accounted for > 60% of increased profits.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Profitability of beef cow-calf operations can be substantially increased through a team approach by identifying opportunities for improvements in management and helping ranch managers implement profitable practices. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:210–220)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare economic outcome for herds not exposed to Neospora caninum with that for herds with various seroprevalences of N caninum infection and evaluate 3 control strategies.

Design—Economic simulation model.

Sample Population—Beef herds with various seroprevalences of N caninum infection.

Procedure—A 5-year simulation model was used. Control strategies that were evaluated included culling females that fail to calve, selling seropositive females and purchasing seronegative replacements, and excluding the daughters of seropositive dams as potential replacements.

Results—For a 5-year period with low prices for feeder calves, endemic N caninum infection decreased mean return to fixed assets by 22.2% when true seroprevalence was 10% and by 29.9% when true seroprevalence was 70%. Percentage decrease in return to fixed assets was less dramatic when a 5-year period with high prices for feeder calves was evaluated. Analysis indicated that 2 control strategies (culling females that fail to give birth to a calf and selling seropositive female cattle and purchasing seronegative replacement female cattle) were not likely to be economically beneficial. The third control strategy (testing the entire herd for N caninum infection and excluding the female offspring of seropositive dams as replacements) appeared to be a reasonable control strategy.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—For the assumptions in the model, endemic N caninum infection decreases return to fixed assets for cow-calf herds. Of the potential control strategies evaluated, testing the entire herd for N caninum infection and excluding the daughters of seropositive dams as potential replacements provided the best economic return. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:1597–1604)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the epidemiologic efficacy and economic efficiency of current and potential future control programs for paratuberculosis (Johne's disease) on midsize dairy herds in the United States.

Design—Stochastic dynamic computer simulation model.

Sample Population—Data on prices and other input variables collected from various sources were used to represent a population of midsize US dairy herds infected with paratuberculosis.

Procedure—The simulation model was modified to reflect management and production characteristics of midsize dairy herds in the United States. The model was validated by use of field data and expert opinion. Various control strategies then were simulated and compared on an epidemiologic basis and on the basis of economic efficiency.

Results—Test-and-cull strategies and vaccination against paratuberculosis were not able to decrease the mean prevalence of disease in the United States. Typically, only vaccination was economically attractive. Improved management strategies decreased the prevalence of paratuberculosis considerably and had high economic benefits.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analysis of results of this study suggests that test-and-cull strategies alone do not reduce the prevalence of paratuberculosis in cattle and are costly for producers to pursue. Vaccination did not reduce the prevalence but was economically attractive. Finally, improved calf-hygiene strategies were found to be critically important in every paratuberculosis control program and most were economically attractive programs for midsize US dairy farms with the disease. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1757–1763)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To estimate potential revenue impacts of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the United States similar to the outbreak in the United Kingdom during 2001.

Design—Economic analysis successively incorporating quarantine and slaughter of animals, an export ban, and consumer fears about the disease were used to determine the combined impact.

Sample Population—Secondary data for cattle, swine, lambs, poultry, and products of these animals.

Procedure—Data for 1999 were used to calibrate a model for the US agricultural sector. Removal of animals, similar to that observed in the United Kingdom, was introduced, along with a ban on exportation of livestock, red meat, and dairy products and a reduction and shift in consumption of red meat in the United States.

Results—The largest impacts on farm income of an FMD outbreak were from the loss of export markets and reductions in domestic demand arising from consumer fears, not from removal of infected animals. These elements could cause an estimated decrease of $14 billion (9.5%) in US farm income. Losses in gross revenue for each sector were estimated to be the following: live swine, –34%; pork, –24%; live cattle –17%; beef, –20%; milk, –16%; live lambs and sheep, –14%; lamb and sheep meat, –10%; forage, –15%; and soybean meal, –7%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Procedures to contain an outbreak of FMD to specific regions and allow maintenance of FMD-free exports and efforts to educate consumers about health risks are critical to mitigating adverse economic impacts of an FMD outbreak. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:988–992)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To determine economic losses associated with an outbreak of avian influenza in flocks in Pennsylvania during 1997 and 1998.

Sample Population

5 premises containing avian influenza-infected layer, pullet, and turkey flocks.

Procedure

Losses incurred before depopulation, those incurred at the time of depopulation, and those that were attributable to depopulation (unrealized loss of income) were evaluated. Results were extrapolated to provide values for all infected flocks.

Results

Extrapolating the costs determined on the basis of age and number of birds from the 5 sample flocks to all other flocks infected with nonpathogenic avian influenza H7N2 yielded an estimated total cost to the Pennsylvania poultry industry of $3.5 million.

Clinical Implications

The H7N2 virus is not highly pathogenic. If the pathogenicity of the virus does not change, then the poultry industry and state and federal governments will not have severe economic losses for the 1997–1998 outbreak similar to those for the 1983–1984 avian influenza outbreak in Pennsylvania. To decrease the potential for financial losses that could result from future outbreaks of avian influenza, it is essential that the commercial industry and live-bird market system be separated via increased use of biosecurity measures. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;214:1164–1167)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective—

To develop an economic tool that can be used to help cattle producers evaluate benefits of neonatal health programs.

Design—

Computer simulation of a multiple-year spreadsheet model, using economic and production variables.

Sample Population—

Records for a university research farm beef herd.

Procedure—

Data from the university research farm beef herd for each year from 1990 to 1995 were evaluated to determine economic benefits for the cowcalf enterprise that would result from a decrease in morbidity and mortality. A baseline economic evaluation of returns to variable costs was performed, using actual production and marketing information. Actual economic performance was contrasted with a projected simulation in which morbidity and mortality were decreased. Sensitivity analysis for the simulation model assessment of a neonatal health program was also performed.

Results—

Mean-per-cow increase in net income for the herd during the 6-year period for morbidity and mortality reductions of 20, 40, and 60% was $7.44, $14.93, and $22.42, respectively. Sensitivity analysis revealed that net income per cow was not sensitive to errors in projections of morbidity and mortality.

Clinical Implications—

Identifying potential economic benefits for implementing a neonatal health plan and quantifying the costs to implement each component of the plan can be used by veterinarians and their clients when formulating a proactive strategy to provide the greatest potential for economic reward. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;213:810-816)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To determine financial impact of an outbreak of vesicular stomatitis in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado.

Design

Survey and financial analysis.

Sample Population

16 ranchers whose beef herds were affected by the 1995 outbreak.

Procedure

Information concerning financial effects during the outbreak year was collected by personal interview of each rancher and examination of financial records.

Results

Affected herds ranged from 79 to 956 cows (mean, 345). Cow case-fatality rates ranged from 0 to 80%, with calf case-fatality rates ranging from 0 to 28% and overall case-fatality rates of 0 to 15%. Median financial loss was $7,818/ranch and mean financial loss was $15,565/ranch, excluding total financial losses associated with sale of calves. Primary financial losses for these beef herds were attributed to increased culling rates, death of pregnant cows, loss of income from calves, and costs for additional labor during the outbreak. Some costs were attributable to a decrease in market price for beef and a drought during the year after the outbreak.

Clinical Implications

Financial losses for an out-break of vesicular stomatitis can be attributed to effects of the disease and costs associated with imposed quarantines. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998; 212:820-823)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To compare pregnancy rates, seasonal effects, and economic benefits of 2 estrus synchronization programs for a confinement-housed dairy herd.

Design

Prospective cohort study.

Animals

200 lactating Holstein cows.

Procedure

Cows eligible for breeding were palpated per rectum and randomly assigned to 2 treatment groups during 4 seasonal periods. Cows in one group (Ovsynch) received injections of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) on day 0, prostaglandin F on day 7, and a second injection of GnRH on day 8. Cows in the other group (PP) that had a palpable corpus luteum were given prostaglandin F. Estrus detection was not performed on the Ovsynch cows, which were artificially inseminated at a predetermined time after the second GnRH injection. Cows in the PP group were observed for signs of estrus, and only those that were detected in estrus were inseminated.

Results

Pregnancy rates and insemination rates were significantly improved for cows in the Ovsynch group, compared with cows in the PP group.

Clinical Implications

The Ovsynch program was an economically advantageous method for controlling reproduction that resulted in pregnancies without the need for estrus detection. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998:212:210–212)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To develop an economic model for comparing cost-effectiveness of medical and surgical treatment versus replacement of beef bulls with preputial prolapse.

Design

Economic analysis.

Sample Population

Estimates determined from medical records of bulls treated for preputial prolapse at our hospital and from information about treatment of bulls published elsewhere.

Procedure

Annual depreciation cost for treatment (ADCT) and replacement (ADCR) were calculated. Total investment for an injured bull equaled the sum of salvage value, maintenance cost, and expected cost of the treatment option under consideration. Total investment for a replacement bull was purchase price. Net present value of cost was calculated for each year of bull use. Sensitivity analyses were constructed to determine the value that would warrant treatment of an injured bull.

Results

The decision to treat was indicated when ADCT was less than ADCR. In our example, it was more cost-effective for owners to cull an injured bull. The ADCR was $97 less than ADCT for medical treatment ($365 vs $462) and $280 less than ADCT for surgical treatment ($365 vs $645). Likewise, net present value of cost values indicated that it was more cost-effective for owners to cull an injured bull. Sensitivity analysis indicated treatment decisions were justified on the basis of replacement value or planned number of breeding seasons remaining for the bull.

Clinical Implications

The model described here can be used by practitioners to provide an objective basis to guide decision making of owners who seek advice on whether to treat or replace bulls with preputial prolapse. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:856–859)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective—

To evaluate the decision to test for milk antimicrobial residues in milk from dairy cows treated with procaine penicillin G (PPG).

Design—

Economic-decision analysis after stochastic simulation.

Sample Population—

1,000 computer-simulated cows/model.

Procedure—

Meta-analysis of the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank was used to generate PPG disappearance curves for cows given single PPG treatments, IM, of 6,600 U/kg (3,000 U/Ib) of body weight or 26,400 U/kg (12,000 U/lb), and multiple treatments at 26,400 U/kg (12,000 U/lb), IM. These curves were entered into 1,000-replication stochastic pharmacokinetic models, generating population-level milk PPG profiles for each treatment group for each day after treatment, which were subjected to economic-decision analyses of feasibility of residue testing. The model was evaluated for changes in herd size, proportion of herd available for testing, milk production, test price, test sensitivity/specificity, and withdrawal periods.

Results—

For both single-treatment groups, a 2-day withdrawal period avoided violative residues. However, nearly two thirds of the cows risked false identification for violative residues. For the multiple-treated group, nearly 40% had violative residues after a 5-day withdrawal period, and an additional 10 to 15% risked false identification for violative residues. Economic analysis yielded a decision against testing; mean cost was $2 (ie, 5% more than the mean cost of not testing).

Clinical Implications—

Complex dynamics of current milk residue tests discourage practitioners from recommending procedures to clients. In general, increases in herd size, milk production, proportion of a herd available for testing, or milk price will increase the value of testing. Increasing test sensitivity decreases its desirability to producers. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:419–427)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association