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


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

Sample Population—

Records for a university research farm beef herd.


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.


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)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

shortages. Their roles are also more complex, including providing primary responsibility for patient care in a neonatal intensive care unit 18 or serving as part of a surgical team focused on patient care and cost-effective services. 19 Similarly, a

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association