Estimating the value of infectious or noninfectious foot disorder prevention strategies within dairy farms, as influenced by foot disorder incidence rates and prevention effectiveness

K. A. Dolecheck, M. W. Overton, T. B. Mark, J. M. Bewley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A farm-level stochastic simulation model was adapted to estimate the value of implementing foot disorder prevention on a dairy farm by calculating the return on investment associated with implementation of foot disorder prevention. Two potential strategies for foot disorder prevention were tested: strategy 1 was prevention focused on reducing infectious foot disorders (i.e., digital dermatitis) in the model, and strategy 2 was prevention focused on reducing noninfectious foot disorders (i.e., sole ulcer and white line disease) in the model. For each strategy, we evaluated the effect of foot disorder incidence on the value of prevention by setting the incidence of foot disorders at 3 levels. For strategy 1, the level of digital dermatitis incidence without prevention in all parities was 20, 40, or 60%, and the incidence level of the noninfectious foot disorders in the model were held constant. For strategy 2, levels of sole ulcer and white line disease incidence without prevention in parity ≥3 cows were 5, 15, or 25%, and the incidence level of the infectious foot disorders included in the model were held constant; the incidence levels of noninfectious foot disorders in younger cows were adjusted to be lower. Overall, 6 scenarios were run, 1 for each prevention strategy × foot disorder incidence rate combination. To evaluate how the effectiveness of each prevention strategy would influence the investment value, the effectiveness of prevention could vary from a prevention risk ratio (RR) of 0.0 (100% reduction in disorder incidence) to 1.0 (0% reduction in disorder incidence). When implementing strategy 1, the return on prevention investment per cow-year (mean ± standard deviation) when prevention effectiveness was low (prevention RR = 0.91 to 1.0) and the digital dermatitis incidence rate was originally 20, 40, or 60% was $0.6 ± 0.4, $1.2 ± 0.9, and $1.8 ± 1.3, respectively. In comparison, the return on prevention investment per cow-year when prevention effectiveness was high (prevention RR = 0.00 to 0.09) and the digital dermatitis incidence rate was originally 20, 40, or 60% was $12.2 ± 3.0, $24.4 ± 6.0, and $36.5 ± 9.0, respectively. When implementing strategy 2, the return on prevention investment per cow-year when prevention effectiveness was low and noninfectious foot disorder incidence rates were originally 5, 15, or 25% in parity ≥3 cows was $0.6 ± 0.4, $1.9 ± 1.1, and $3.2 ± 1.9, respectively. In comparison, the return on prevention investment per cow-year when prevention effectiveness was high and noninfectious foot disorder incidence rates were originally 5, 15, or 25% in parity ≥3 cows was $12.4 ± 1.5, $37.3 ± 4.6, and $62.2 ± 7.6, respectively. The return on investment for foot disorder prevention would depend on the cost of the prevention strategy and the other benefits associated with the selected prevention strategy. This model could be used as a decision support tool to help identify the amount that could be paid to implement a selected prevention strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-741
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume102
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Elanco Animal Health (Greenfield, IN), who provided funding to support this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Dairy Science Association

Keywords

  • animal health economics
  • decision support
  • hoof health
  • lameness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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