Farm-specific economic value of automatic lameness detection systems in dairy cattle: From concepts to operational simulations

Tim Van De Gucht, Wouter Saeys, Jef Van Meensel, Annelies Van Nuffel, Jürgen Vangeyte, Ludwig Lauwers

    Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikelpeer review


    Although prototypes of automatic lameness detection systems for dairy cattle exist, information about their economic value is lacking. In this paper, a conceptual and operational framework for simulating the farm-specific economic value of automatic lameness detection systems was developed and tested on 4 system types: walkover pressure plates, walkover pressure mats, camera systems, and accelerometers. The conceptual framework maps essential factors that determine economic value (e.g., lameness prevalence, incidence and duration, lameness costs, detection performance, and their relationships). The operational simulation model links treatment costs and avoided losses with detection results and farm-specific information, such as herd size and lameness status. Results show that detection performance, herd size, discount rate, and system lifespan have a large influence on economic value. In addition, lameness prevalence influences the economic value, stressing the importance of an adequate prior estimation of the on-farm prevalence. The simulations provide first estimates for the upper limits for purchase prices of automatic detection systems. The framework allowed for identification of knowledge gaps obstructing more accurate economic value estimation. These include insights in cost reductions due to early detection and treatment, and links between specific lameness causes and their related losses. Because this model provides insight in the trade-offs between automatic detection systems' performance and investment price, it is a valuable tool to guide future research and developments.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    TijdschriftJournal of Dairy Science
    Pagina's (van-tot)637-648
    Aantal pagina’s12
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 25-okt-2017

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