Preventive Health Measures for Dairy Farmers
In a recent Farmers Weekly piece, the subject of dairy farmers’ vet spending was discussed. For dairy farmers, operating in an industry with very slim margins, minimising costs is essential to their economic viability. One of the potential costs that all dairy farmers want to minimise is that associated with vet visits.
What the vets interviewed for the article encourage dairy farmers to do is to understand where their veterinary spending is going, and take a long term view when attempting to manage it. Farmers are further urged to make their veterinary spending targets specific to their farm. It is not in the long term interest of farmers to treat veterinary monitoring of their herd as an unnecessary financial outgoing.
As was found in a study published in the Veterinary Record, there still persist issues concerning the perceptions of some farmers towards the role of vets. For farmers that don’t take a pro-active approach to preventing the introduction of disease, when problems do arise, they require vets to take on a firefighting role in maintaining herd health. In many cases, health planning and pre-empting the introduction of disease could have avoided this.
By working in close partnership with vets and taking a long term, pro-active approach to maintaining a herd’s health; farmers can better manage risks and increasing the overall financial performance of their herds. Prevention is better than cure.
Biobest’s HiHealth Herdcare scheme is one such way farmers can help manage risk. HiHealth Herdcare, delivered in partnership with farmers and vets, covers management and testing for up to five disease (BVD, Johne’s Disease, IBR, Leptospirosis and Neospora) in accordance with CHeCS guidelines. Following testing, herds will be given a status on the basis of the test results. This can lead to reduced spending on disease breakdown and an overall increase in herd profitability.