The use of Restricted Veterinary Medicines (RVM) to both treat and prevent disease and enhance productivity can be viewed as both a cost and an investment. Based on accurate sales and production data, the average farm in our practice this season spent:
- 8.5c/kgMS in total on all RVMs
- 3c/kgMS on RVMs directly associateed with the treatment of disease - i.e. mastitis, endometritis, lameness etc.
Last year the average Systems 4 farm in NZ had Farm Working Expenses (FWE) of $3.88/kgMS (source - DairyNZ Economic Survey 16-17). Therefore the average farm in our practice will be spending about 2.2% of FWE on RVMs and 0.8% of FWE RVMs associated with treatment of disease.
A farm's expenditure on RVMs associated with treatment of disease is a good indicator of the large costs associated with disease. The actual cost of treatment pales in significance when compared to the other direct costs of disease such as reduced milk production, dumped milk, increased culling, empties and labour. It is estimated that a single case of the following dieases have the associated costs:
- Mastitis - MA cows - $120
- Mastitis - Heifer - $215
- Endometritis - $200-300
- Lame cow - $300-700
- Non-cycling cows - $285
Over the period of the next two months we will be looking to do an Animal Health Expenditure Review with all our clients as part of the annual RVM consult. The purpose being to identify potential opportunity cost in your business and to identify areas where specific improvements can be made to increase your profitability.