Postprint version. Published in Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Volume 39, Issue 2, July 8, 1991, pages 299-318. Copyright © 1991 Canadian Agricultural Economic Society. Published by Blackwell Publishing Group. The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-7976.1991.tb03574.x.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Wayne H. Howard was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
The frequency of use and the marginal costs and marginal value products of mastitis control practices on somatic cell count (SCC) and milk yield are investigated. A survey of current management practices is combined with Dairy Herd Improvement production information to determine the relationships between milk yield, SCC, management practices, and production and producer characteristics under field conditions. The relationships are modeled and compared at the cow and herd level. A moment-generating approach is used in the herd model to determine which, if any, practices are risk reducing. The SCC for an individual cow is a better indicator of milk production lost due to mastitis than is a bulk tank SCC. Most recommended mastitis control practices are estimated to be economically beneficial, but some common practices are found not to be economical, and questions are raised about dry cow treatment.
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