How to create a simple economic scenario on our farms?
In the previous post, Oriol Franquesa Oller explained how to classify a farm’s milk quality-related costs, and we reviewed how different authors have estimated these costs in very different ways. With the aim of simplifying and facilitating the calculation of the economic impact of clinical mastitis, most dairy specialists usually work with a mean cost of mastitis of between €250 and €300/case of clinical mastitis.
Is this a real value for all cases of mastitis?
No, but it is a reasonable value that allows us to define the starting scenario on a farm that will allow us to evaluate the results from an economic perspective, once the vaccination plan has been implemented.
We could also differentiate standard costs based on the degree of severity of mastitis. For example, we could propose a cost of approximately €300 for mild mastitis, a cost of €400 for severe mastitis, and another higher cost, e.g. €500, for hyper acute mastitis.
“What is important is not that the number in question is accurate (the closer the better, of course), but that we are able to draw a financial scenario for the farm in order to make decisions and be able to evaluate its evolution”.
In addition to the economic aspect, during the evaluation of the initial farm situation, we must be aware of which agents are causing these incidents of mastitis. It would make no sense to vaccinate against mastitis caused by E. coli if our main problem is Streptococcus uberis, for example.
In other words, we need to take milk samples from all cases of clinical mastitis before treatment, send them to a trusted laboratory, and thus obtain reliable results on the pathogens that are active on our farm. If these results show a high percentage of mastitis caused by E. coli or coliforms, or if we have a significant number of cases of hyper-acute mastitis, we should then consider the option of implementing a vaccine plan.
Based on the economic scenario of a farm, and identifying the main pathogens involved in our incidence of clinical mastitis, we can decide whether the use of J5 vaccines may be of interest on this farm.
Economic impact of a J5 vaccination plan
Whenever a farmer decides to make an investment of this type, a quick and convincing response is expected, but it is not usually as fast in the case of J5 vaccines.
First of all, we cannot expect to reduce our level of clinical mastitis to 0 (as everyone would like). However, we can expect to observe a reduction in cases and, above all, to observe a reduction in the severity of cases caused by E. coli. The response will not be immediate on the day after vaccination. Several applications will be needed to see optimal results.
Normally, we usually define a period of one year in order to compare results and evaluate the economic performance of this decision. We are therefore going to compare two similar time periods that include the different seasons of the year and changes in diet, etc.
We shall also obtain faster or slower responses on the farm according to the vaccination protocol used. If we opt for a vaccination protocol during drying-off, we will need more time to have a reasonable number of vaccinated animals to evaluate the results; and if we opt for a blanket vaccination protocol, all the animals on the farm will be protected at the same time.
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