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J Dairy Sci. 2008 Jun;91(6):2205-14. doi: 10.3168/jds.2007-0573.

The cost of generic clinical mastitis in dairy cows as estimated by using dynamic programming.

Author information

1
Section of Epidemiology, Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA. db324@cornell.edu

Abstract

The objective of this study was to estimate the cost of generic clinical mastitis (CM) in high-yielding dairy cows given optimal decisions concerning handling of CM cases. A specially structured optimization and simulation model that included a detailed representation of repeated episodes of CM was used to study the effects of various factors on the cost of CM. The basic scenario was based on data from 5 large herds in New York State. In the basic scenario, 92% of the CM cases were recommended to be treated. The average cost of CM per cow and year in these herds was $71. The average cost of a CM case was $179. It was composed of $115 because of milk yield losses, $14 because of increased mortality, and $50 because of treatment-associated costs. The estimated cost of CM was highly dependent on cow traits: it was highest ($403) in cows with high expected future net returns (e.g., young, high-milk-yielding cows), and was lowest ($3) in cows that were recommended to be culled for reasons other than mastitis. The cost per case of CM was 18% higher with a 20% increase in milk price and 17% lower with a 20% decrease in milk price. The cost per case of CM was affected little by a 20% change in replacement cost or pregnancy rate. Changes in CM incidence, however, resulted from changes in these factors, thus affecting whole-farm profitability. The detailed results obtained from this insemination and replacement optimization model can assist farmers in making CM treatment decisions.

PMID:
18487643
DOI:
10.3168/jds.2007-0573
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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