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Home / NEWS & MEDIA / Driving Profitability — Tip 4: 3 Ways to Improve Income Through Heifer Management
Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of Dairy Financial Driver Profitability Quick Tips. Information is based on work by Zoetis and Compeer Financial to analyze 11 years of herd data from 489 year-end financial and production-record summaries to identify key drivers of net farm income.
By Michael Lormore, DVM, MS, MBA, Director, U.S. Dairy Technical Services, Zoetis
Two months isn’t a lot of time, but it can make a big difference for profitability. In fact, getting heifers pregnant two months earlier resulted in an additional $200 to $250 in lifetime net farm income per cow.1
Age at first calving is an important metric in terms of managing heifer inventories and is, therefore, important to help minimize net herd turnover cost. Young stock health is paramount in allowing animals to grow properly so that they reach appropriate breeding age in a timely fashion. As such, it is no surprise that a recent study Zoetis conducted with Compeer Financial found that heifer survival rate is one of the top six factors affecting dairy net farm income.2
The analysis of 11 years of herd data from 489 year-end financial and production-record summaries quantified the value of decreased heifer survival rates on lifetime net farm income. The top one-third of herds in this study achieved an earlier age at first calving, by approximately two months, compared with the bottom one-third of herds. This had a significant compounding effect on the number of animals in a herd over time, which contributed to an average of $200 to $250 in additional lifetime net farm income per cow.1,2
Let’s look at three ways you can help heifers survive and thrive to improve your net farm income:
Successful heifer management that lowers age at first calving and improves heifer survival is a demonstrated way to ensure your dairy continues to gain net farm income. For more about heifer survival rate as one of the top drivers of profitability for your dairy, watch this video about solutions for helping heifers to not only survive but thrive on your dairy.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: Women of childbearing age and persons with respiratory problems should exercise extreme caution when handling LUTALYSE/LUTALYSE HighCon. LUTALYSE/LUTALYSE HighCon is readily absorbed through the skin and may cause abortion and/or bronchiospasms, therefore spillage on the skin should be washed off immediately with soap and water. Aseptic technique should be used to reduce the possibility of post-injection clostridial infections. Do not administer LUTALYSE/LUTALYSE HighCon in pregnant cattle unless cessation of pregnancy is desired. See full Prescribing Information here.
About ZoetisZoetis is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 65 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines, vaccines and diagnostic products, which are complemented by biodevices, genetic tests and a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2018, the company generated annual revenue of $5.8 billion with approximately 10,000 employees. For more information, visit https://www.zoetisus.com/.
For more information, contact:Allison RamosZoetis973-822-7206 email@example.com
Dorothy TateBader Rutter262firstname.lastname@example.org
References:* Results based on average herd size of 1,087 from Zoetis/Compeer Financial study.
1Lormore M. The case for a quality dairy replacement program, in Proceedings. NRAES Dairy Calves and Heifers: Integrating Biology and Management Conference 2005.2 Lormore M. What Drives Financial Success on a Dairy? Parsippany, NJ: Zoetis; 2018.3 Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Dairy Replacement Programs: Costs & Analysis 3rd Quarter 2012. https://ecommons.cornell.edu/bitstream/handle/1813/36889/DairyReplaceCost12-3.pdf. Published February 2014. Accessed August 9, 2018.4 USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, National Animal Health Monitoring System. Dairy 2007: Heifer Calf Health and Management Practices on U.S. Dairy Operations, 2007. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/nahms/dairy/downloads/dairy07/Dairy07_ir_CalfHealth.pdf. Published January 2010. Accessed August 9, 2018.5 Donovan GA, Dohoo IR, Montgomery DM, Bennett FL. Calf and disease factors affecting growth in female Holstein calves in Florida, USA. Prev Vet Med. 1998;33(1-4):1-10.6 Stanton AL, Kelton DF, LeBlanc SJ, Wormuth J, Leslie KE. The effect of respiratory disease and a preventative antibiotic treatment on growth, survival, age at first calving, and milk production of dairy heifers. J Dairy Sci. 2012;95(9):4950-4960.
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