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
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)
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
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)
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.
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
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
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)