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J Dairy Sci. 2020 Jan;103(1):451-472. doi: 10.3168/jds.2019-16708. Epub 2019 Oct 16.

Cost-benefit of implementing a participatory extension model for improving on-farm adoption of Johne's disease control recommendations.

Author information

1
Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1; Agricultural Communications and Epidemiological Research (ACER) Consulting, 103A-100 Stone Road West, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 5L3.
2
Department of Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1.
3
Agricultural Communications and Epidemiological Research (ACER) Consulting, 103A-100 Stone Road West, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 5L3.
4
Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1.
5
Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1. Electronic address: dkelton@uoguelph.ca.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to perform a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of a participatory extension model, called Ontario Focus Farms (FF), which was designed to facilitate the adoption of on-farm management practices to control Johne's disease (JD) on Ontario (ON) dairy farms. Partial budget models were developed to estimate the annual herd cost of JD on an average 78-cow Ontario dairy herd and the annual herd cost of neonatal calf diarrhea (NCD). With these estimates, a CBA was developed to assess the simulated net benefits of implementing various on-farm management scenarios (i.e., implementing 1, 2, or 3 of the following: calf feeding, maternity pen management, maternity area structure changes), where the benefits represent a reduction in the annual cost of JD and NCD. These models informed the final CBA assessing the net benefits of FF implementation over a 10-yr period. All monetary values are reported in Canadian dollars (Can$; where 1 Can$ = 0.823 US$ at the time of the study). The annual herd cost of JD was estimated to be $3,242 ($41.56/cow), and that of NCD was estimated to be $1,390 ($36/heifer calf). When farms were expected to have both JD and NCD, all scenarios, when implemented over a 10-yr period, yielded positive net benefits ranging from $439 to $2,543 per farm when changes to maternity area structure were combined with calf feeding changes. These effects were sensitive to changes in level of disease (JD and NCD) on the farm, and the costs and effects of making changes. The NPV of making any on-farm change when JD was not present on the farm was negative. Overall, FF implementation yielded positive net benefits of $426,351 or $749,808, depending on whether a veterinarian or non-veterinarian served as the facilitator. The NPV was most sensitive to changes in burden of disease, the cost of implementing changes, and the proportion of FF participants that had JD and NCD on the farm. Benefits of FF implementation are also likely to accrue to veterinarians, as a result of professional facilitator training, and the Ontario dairy industry, as a by-product of improved milk quality and safety; therefore, the true net benefits of FF implementation are likely underestimated. Overall, the FF process should be considered an economically viable program and worthy of investment as part of a JD control strategy, as it demonstrates potential to yield positive net benefits for the Ontario dairy industry.

KEYWORDS:

Johne's disease; cost-benefit analysis; dairy cattle; economics

PMID:
31629515
DOI:
10.3168/jds.2019-16708

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