Objective—To measure the economic impacts attributable
to an increase in bulk-tank somatic cell count
(BTSCC) on US dairies.
Design—Meta-analysis of data from various sources.
Procedure—Economic impacts attributable to
reduced milk production associated with an increase
in BTSCC (≥ 200,000 cells/mL) in dairy cows during
1996 were estimated from supply-and-demand
curves for milk and from an estimate of the effect of
increased BTSCC on milk production.
Results—Reduced milk production associated with
an increase in BTSCC in dairy cows during 1996
caused an economic loss (mean ± 2SE) of 3.1 ± 2.1
billion dollars to consumers, an economic gain of
2.2 ± 1.7 billion dollars to dairy producers, and a total
loss of 810 ± 480 million dollars to the US economy
as a whole.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Consumers
would stand to benefit from increased milk production
associated with reducing the BTSCC to
< 200,000 cells/mL on all dairy operations, whereas
the US dairy industry would experience an economic
loss. Individual dairy producers need to compare the
costs of measures intended to reduce BTSCC with
the anticipated benefits from a decrease in BTSCC.
(J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:1652–1658)
Objective—To measure economic impacts attributable
to the mortality rate for suckling pigs in the
Design—Economic analysis that incorporated data
from various sources.
Sample Population—Suckling pigs on US swine farms.
Procedure—Economic impacts associated with the
mortality rate for suckling pigs during 1995 were estimated
from supply-and-demand curves for pork and
from an estimate of the elasticity of production for
pigs entering the grower-finisher phase of production.
Results—A decrease in the mortality rate for suckling
pigs would have caused an increase in pork production
and a decrease in price and total value of production.
Assuming no suckling pigs had died during
1995, consumer surplus would have increased by
(mean ± SE) $430 ± $160 million, whereas producer
surplus would have decreased by $180 ± $140 million.
The total gain to the US economy would have been
$250 ± $30 million.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Researchers
who attempt to estimate the economic impact of
mortality and morbidity rates of livestock should not
ignore the influence of demand and the possibility of
price adjustments. Consumers would stand to benefit
from an increase in pork production associated
with a reduction in the mortality rate for suckling pigs,
whereas the swine industry would experience an
economic loss. Individual producers need to compare
the costs of measures intended to reduce the mortality
rate for suckling pigs with the anticipated benefits.
(J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:896–902)