News Update on Dairy Farms Research: Feb – 2020

A Generalized Production Frontier Approach for Estimating Determinants of Inefficiency in U.S. Dairy Farms

This article investigates farm-level efficiency of U.S. dairy farmers by estimating their technical and allocative efficiency. Technical inefficiency is assumed to be composed of a deterministic component that’s a function of some farm-specific characteristics and a random component. By doing this we extend the stochastic frontier methodology during which determinants of technicial inefficiency are explicitly introduced within the model. Given the inputs, variations in efficiency of farms are then explained by both deterministic and random components of technical inefficiency. The empirical results indicate that (a) levels of education of the farmer are important factors determining technical inefficiency and (b) large farms are more efficient (technically) than small and medium-sized farms. Both technical and allocative inefficiency are found to decrease with increase within the level of education of the farmer. [1]

Incidence Rate of Clinical Mastitis on Canadian Dairy Farms

No nationwide studies of the incidence rate of clinical mastitis (IRCM) are conducted in Canada. Because the IRCM and distribution of mastitis-causing bacteria may show substantial geographic variation, the first objective of this study was to work out regional pathogen-specific IRCM on Canadian dairy farms. Additionally, the association of pathogen-specific IRCM with bulk milk vegetative cell count (BMSCC) and barn type were determined. In total, 106 dairy farms in 10 provinces of Canada participated within the study for a period of 1 yr. Participating producers recorded 3,149 cases of clinical mastitis. the foremost frequently isolated mastitis pathogens were Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli , Streptococcus uberis, and coagulase-negative staphylococci. Overall mean and median IRCM were 23.0 and 16.7 cases per 100 cow-years within the selected herds, respectively, with a variety from 0.7 to 97.4 per herd. No association between BMSCC and overall IRCM was found, but E. coli and culture-negative IRCM were highest and Staph. aureus IRCM was lowest in low and medium BMSCC herds. Staphylococcus aureus, Strep. [2]

Econometric Estimation of Technical and Environmental Efficiency: An Application to Dutch Dairy Farms

In this article we estimate the technical and environmental efficiency of a panel of Dutch dairy farms. Nitrogen surplus, arising from the appliance of excessive amounts of manure and chemical fertilizer, is treated as an environmentally detrimental input. A stochastic translog production frontier is specified to estimate the output‐oriented technical efficiency. Environmental efficiency is estimated because the input‐oriented technical efficiency of one input, the nitrogen surplus of every farm. The mean output‐oriented technical efficiency is quite high, 0.894, but the mean input‐oriented environmental efficiency is merely 0.441. Intensive dairy farms are both technically and environmentally more efficient than extensive farms. [3]

Emissions of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide from typical dairy barns in central China and major factors influencing the emissions

There are few studies on the concentrations and emission characteristics of ammonia (NH3) and sulfide (H2S) from Chinese dairy farms. the aim of this study was to calculate the emission rates of NH3 and H2S during summer and to research influencing factors for NH3 and H2S emissions from typical dairy barns in central China. Eleven dairy barns with open walls and double-slope tower roofs from three dairy farms were studied. Five different locations in each barn were sampled both near the ground and at 1.5 m above the ground . Concentrations of NH3 and H2S were measured using the Nessler’s reagent spectrophotometry method and therefore the methylthionine chloride spectrophotometric method, respectively. NH3 concentrations varied between 0.58 and 4.76 mg/m3 with the typical of 1.54 mg/m3, while H2S concentrations ranged from 0.024 to 0.151 mg/m3 with the typical of 0.092 mg/m3. [4]

Re-emergence of Bovine Brucellosis in Smallholder Dairy Farms in Urban Settings of Tanzania

Aims: Brucellosis infection was previously encountered altogether livestock farming systems in Tanzania but reported to say no below 2% in smallholder dairy subsector thanks to the stringent calf-hood vaccination using S19 between 1979 and 1990. However, reports from the last decade indicated a rise of the infection within the smallholder dairy subsector. This prompted several researchers to conduct further studies in several urban settings to determine the disease and associated risk factors. This study aims to elucidate the magnitude of brucellosis in urban areas of Morogoro region and related risk factors within the advent of no control intervention in situ . Presence of anti-brucella antibodies in dairy animals residing in urban areas may pose a threat to exploit consumers within the cities as a big proportion of the milk is sold informally. Therefore, generating this information will inform policy to formulate feasible intervention for controlling brucellosis in urban settings that obliquely will safeguard public health. [5]


[1] Kumbhakar, S.C., Ghosh, S. and McGuckin, J.T., 1991. A generalized production frontier approach for estimating determinants of inefficiency in US dairy farms. Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, 9(3), (Web Link)

[2] Riekerink, R.O., Barkema, H.W., Kelton, D.F. and Scholl, D.T., 2008. Incidence rate of clinical mastitis on Canadian dairy farms. Journal of dairy science, 91(4), (Web Link)

[3] Reinhard, S., Lovell, C.K. and Thijssen, G., 1999. Econometric estimation of technical and environmental efficiency: an application to Dutch dairy farms. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 81(1), (Web Link)

[4] Emissions of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide from typical dairy barns in central China and major factors influencing the emissions
Zhifang Shi, Xiaoqin Sun, Yao Lu, Lei Xi & Xin Zhao
Scientific Reports volume 9, (Web Link)

[5] M. Shirima, G., E. Lyimo, B. and L. Kanuya, N. (2018) “Re-emergence of Bovine Brucellosis in Smallholder Dairy Farms in Urban Settings of Tanzania”, Journal of Applied Life Sciences International, 17(2), (Web Link)

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