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28 November 2014 Stochastic economic evaluation of dairy farmreproductive performance
Afshin S. Kalantari, Victor E. Cabrera
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Kalantari, A. S. and Cabrera, V. E. 2015. Stochastic economic evaluation of dairy farm reproductive performance. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 95: 59-70. The objective of this study was to assess the economic value of reproductive performance in dairy farms under uncertain and variable conditions. Consequently, the study developed methods to introduce stochasticity into transition probabilities of a Markov chain model. A robust Markov chain model with 21-d stage length and three state variables, parity, days in milk, and days in pregnancy, was developed. Uncertainty was added to all transition probabilities, milk production level, and reproductive costs. The model was run for 10 000 replications after introducing each random variable. The expected net return (US$ cow-1 yr-1±standard deviation) was $3192±75.0 for the baseline scenario that had 15% 21-d pregnancy rate (21-d PR). After verifying the model's behavior, it was run for 2000 replications to study the effect of changing 21-d PR from 10 to 30% with one-unit-percentage interval. The economic gain of changing 21-d PR from 10 to 30% resulted in a US$75 cow-1 yr-1, and this overall increase in the net return was observed mainly due to the lower reproductive and culling cost and higher calf value. The gain was even greater when milk price and milk cut-off threshold decreased.

Afshin S. Kalantari and Victor E. Cabrera "Stochastic economic evaluation of dairy farmreproductive performance," Canadian Journal of Animal Science 95(1), 59-70, (28 November 2014).
Received: 29 April 2014; Accepted: 1 November 2014; Published: 28 November 2014

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