The relation between input-output transformation and gastrointestinal nematode infections on dairy farms

Mariska van der Voort, Jef Van Meensel, Ludwig Lauwers, Guido Van Huylenbroeck, Johannes Charlier

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikel

Uittreksel

Efficiency analysis is used for assessing links between technical efficiency (TE) of livestock farms and animal diseases. However,
previous studies often do not make the link with the allocation of inputs and mainly present average effects that ignore the often
huge differences among farms. In this paper, we studied the relationship between exposure to gastrointestinal (GI) nematode
infections, the TE and the input allocation on dairy farms. Although the traditional cost allocative efficiency (CAE) indicator
adequately measures how a given input allocation differs from the cost-minimising input allocation, they do not represent the
unique input allocation of farms. Similar CAE scores may be obtained for farms with different input allocations. Therefore, we
propose an adjusted allocative efficiency index (AAEI) to measure the unique input allocation of farms. Combining this AAEI with
the TE score allows determining the unique input-output position of each farm. The method is illustrated by estimating efficiency
scores using data envelopment analysis (DEA) on a sample of 152 dairy farms in Flanders for which both accountancy and parasitic
monitoring data were available. Three groups of farms with a different input-output position can be distinguished based on cluster
analysis: (1) technically inefficient farms, with a relatively low use of concentrates per 100 l milk and a high exposure to infection,
(2) farms with an intermediate TE, relatively high use of concentrates per 100 l milk and a low exposure to infection,
(3) farms with the highest TE, relatively low roughage use per 100 l milk and a relatively high exposure to infection. Correlation
analysis indicates for each group how the level of exposure to GI nematodes is associated or not with improved economic
performance. The results suggest that improving both the economic performance and exposure to infection seems only of interest
for highly TE farms. The findings indicate that current farm recommendations regarding GI nematode infections could be improved
by also accounting for the allocation of inputs on the farm.
TaalEngels
TijdschriftAnimal
Volume10
Exemplaarnummer2
Pagina's (van-tot)274–282
Aantal pagina's9
ISSN1751-7311
DOI's
StatusGepubliceerd - 27-okt-2015

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