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Revealing the effects of reproduction and turnover rate on farm profitability through herd structure dynamics.

W. Li

Events

06-24-2020

Abstract:

306
Revealing the effects of reproduction and turnover rate on farm profitability through herd structure dynamics.
W. Li*, V. E. Cabrera. University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI.

Dairy herd structure influenced by reproduction and turnover rate determines the whole farm profitability because each group of animals has a distinctive production efficiency reflected in costs and revenues. The objective of this study was to reveal the interactions among reproductive performance, turnover rate, herd structure, and farm profitability. A monthly Markov chain model mimicking cows and youngstock was used after performance evaluation with a 7-mo farm data set. A simulated herd with 45% turnover rate (TR), 16% 21-d pregnancy rate (21-d PR), and 0% voluntary calf culling rate (VCC) was used as the base. The base herd was then imposed 25% TR or 40% 21-d PR and combinations of VCC. Results showed that decreased TR (45 to 25%) increased the percentage of multiparous cows (50.0 to 58.4%); cow longevity (49.0 to 58.2 mo); net return (NR, +$4/cow per mo); and net return after other costs (NRA, management included, $2 /cow per mo). Greater 21-d PR (16 to 40%) increased the percentage of pregnant cows (49.6 to 67.3%); percentage of multiparous cows (50.0 to 65.5%); and the ratio of heifers to adults (0.80 to 1.08). Greater 21-d PR increased the percentage of cows less than 150 DIM (43.4 to 47.9%). Greater 21-d PR also increased NR by $7/cow per mo but decreased NRA by $3 /cow per mo due to greater replacement rearing costs. Using an optimization algorithm, we maximized NRA at breakeven on-farm replacement supply and demand at 44% VCC when 25% TR and 40% 21-d PR. Maximum NR and NRA were then $10 and $18 /cow per mo, respectively, greater than the base. To alleviate the volatility of NR and NRA in the short term, managerial changes could be introduced progressively, still reaching same herd performance and economic outcomes in the long term. Overall, and under current market conditions, farms with better reproduction performance, lower turnover rate, and raising only the required number of replacements, are more profitable.

Keywords: reproduction, turnover rate, herd structure.