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J Dairy Sci. 1992 Feb;75(2):596-605.

The economic implications of bioengineered mastitis control.

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Department of Agricultural Economics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.


This paper estimates the cost of mastitis for the New York dairy sector. The average cost is found to be $125 per cow from reduced milk production, treatment, and increased culling. At the 1988 cow inventory, this translates to approximately $100 million annually for the entire dairy farm sector. When quality and production losses for the processing sector are added, the cost to the New York industry alone is nearly $150 million annually. Two promising new treatments, a bacteriocin and a vaccine, are evaluated. Both have shown effectiveness in preliminary trials against Staphylococcus aureus. Assuming that further development will allow the treatments to be effective against the major bacterial sources of mastitis infections, the treatments are projected to increase the annual income of the New York dairy industry by $18.8 to $39.7 million. The bacteriocin could replace antibiotic usage, a desirable goal in the opinion of many, and the vaccine promises to immunize cows against mastitis very effectively.

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