Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Animal and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey M. Bewley


This thesis improved a farm-level stochastic model with Monte Carlo simulation to estimate the impact of health performance and market conditions on dairy farm economics. The main objective of this model was to estimate the costs of seven common clinical dairy diseases (mastitis, lameness, metritis, retained placenta, left displaced abomasum, ketosis, and milk fever) in the U.S. An online survey was conducted to estimate veterinary fees, treatment costs, and producer labor data. The total disease costs were higher in multiparous cows than in primiparous cows. Left displaced abomasum had the greatest costs in all parities ($404.74 in primiparous cows and $555.79 in multiparous cows). Milk loss, treatment costs, and culling costs were the largest three cost categories for all diseases. A secondary objective of this model was to evaluate the dairy cow’s value, the optimal culling decision, and the cost of days open with flexible model inputs. Dairy cow value under 2013 market conditions was lower than previous studies due to the high slaughter and feed price and low replacement price. The first optimal replacement moment appeared in the middle of the first parity. Furthermore, the cost of days open was considerably influenced by the market conditions.

Included in

Dairy Science Commons