PR - ESTIMATING BVD PRODUCTION RISK IN DAIRY HERDS
Appropriate animal health is important aspect that influences efficiency of livestock breeding. Farmers usually pay attention in the case of injuries or serious disease issues, especially those that have significant and immediate influence on production. Less evident is such practice when consequences are not so straightforward, which is even more significant in less intensive breeding farms. An example for such disease is bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) that is still not systematically eradicated in many countries worldwide. In those cases farmers have to decide whether to join the eradication program or not. To support decision making in this regard, information of expected losses as well as probabilities for different situations is needed. Paper presents possible approach how production risk caused by BVD could be analysed at the animal level. In order to estimate the effects of BVD on the economic efficiency of rearing a dairy herd in different epidemiological circumstances, we developed a spreadsheet tool. To imitate production risk caused by BVD, potential of Monte Carlo Simulations is utilised. Possible different risks enter as uncertain variables and are supported by different probability distributions, representing possible states of nature. Study focuses on less intensive dairy production with Simmental breed in Slovenia. The results indicate that the BVD can have a significant impact on the economic efficiency of milk production. On average this deterioration at the level of gross margin exceeds 25 %. Latter is especially significant in the case of a major BVD outbreak in the herd, where consequences might significantly jeopardize the farm income stability.
Keywords: Simulation model, BVD, diary production, economic analysis