K-State Study Measures Economic Impact of Using Antimicrobials

Metaphylaxis is used selectively by 59 percent of U.S. feedlots on 20.5 percent of all cattle placed on feed. ( John Maday )

Kansas State University agricultural economists and veterinary medicine faculty members have completed an analysis of the economic impact of treating groups of high health-risk animals with antimicrobials, and they think their findings will help to inform public debate on the topic.

Their work focused on the practice of metaphylaxis, or the mass treatment of a pen of high health-risk cattle to eliminate or minimize the onset of disease. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, metaphylaxis is used selectively by 59 percent of U.S. feedlots on 20.5 percent of all cattle placed on feed.

The use of antimicrobials in livestock production is under intense public scrutiny, with many major restaurants, food service companies, supermarkets and others pressuring producers to use fewer antibiotics.

“There’s a general sentiment and public policy concern about the use of antibiotics in animal production,” said Ted Schroeder, a livestock economist with K-State Research and Extension and University Distinguished Professor of agricultural economics. “Our study assessed the economic impacts on the beef cattle industry and on consumers of using metaphylaxis in the beef cattle industry.”

Their major finding: if metaphylaxis were eliminated in the U.S. cattle industry without suitable health management alternatives, it could cost that industry as much as $1.8 billion annually.

“We know that if metaphylaxis were not available, a reduction in revenue would result from reduced average daily gains, increased feed conversions, higher health costs from treating more sick animals, more deaths primarily for those high health-risk animals,” among other factors, said Elliott Dennis, a K-State doctoral student who worked on the study.

“That reduction in profitability would then be passed up and down the beef supply chain, ultimately resulting in higher prices for consumers to pay for beef at the supermarket. Consumers, when facing higher beef prices at the supermarket would then (choose) other meat products besides beef.”

The economists’ findings are based on data from 10 large Midwest feedlots in which they analyzed production and health management data from cattle that were classified as high health-risk and administered an antimicrobial upon entering the feedlot.

They classified animals into three weight categories to determine differences between treating high health-risk animals compared with those not treated.

They found that for 550-pound animals, producers would lose on average $104 per head by not treating those high health-risk cattle. For 700-pound animals, they would be expected to lose about $99, and for 850-pound animals, the losses would be $64 per head.

“We found that if metaphylaxis was not available for high health-risk cattle, it would reduce industry gross revenue by about 1 percent,” Dennis said. “That’s a sizable amount if metaphylaxis was not allowed to be used in feedlots on high health-risk cattle.”

Schroeder noted that removing metaphylaxis or any animal health management technology from feedlots has a snowball effect.

“A lot of that direct cost would be absorbed by the feedlot, but a very significant amount of it would go back to cow-calf producers who are supplying calves,” he said. “Even if they are supplying healthy calves, they are still going to be influenced because overall the feedlot sector’s costs get passed down because they are a margin-taker.”

“So it’s a very important issue not only for the feedlot sector, but for the cow-calf sector and consumers, as well.”

Dennis said the agricultural economists plan to continue their analysis, looking more closely at options that producers may have for using different types of metaphylaxis drugs, “and what happens if they took away certain drugs, but allowed other drugs to be present. Kind of get down to the producer decision level so that we could create a tool for producers to look at the options they have when it comes to metaphylaxis use.”

Schroeder said the current study and future work will nonetheless help to better inform those who make decisions regarding animal health management.

“These studies take a long time to do; there is considerable research analyst time to complete projects like this,” he said. “Our goal was to make sure that as such policy options are being debated that at least folks are informed about what kinds of economic impacts alternative strategies like this could entail.”

K-State’s study can be read online at http://www.agmanager.info/livestock-meat/cross-subject-areas/value-arrival-metaphylaxis-us-fed-cattle-industry.

 

Comments

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
16 + 1 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.
Submitted by Gary david on Wed, 06/27/2018 - 13:31

My name is Gary David. I do not know how to thank GREAT SAM for bringing happiness back to my family. do really wanna tell the whole world that there is a spell caster called Dr. Sam that is so real and genuine. I never believed in any of these things but when i lose my wife for 4 years, i required help until i found a great spell caster,and he assured me that I will get my wife back in just 24hours but i was in doubt, and after the spell has been cast, 24hours later, just as the spell caster said, my phone rang, and surprisingly it was my wife who has not called me for the past 4 years, and she made an apology for the pain she has caused me and she told me that she is ready to come back home for me. Dr. Sam really made her know how much i loved and needed her. And he also opened her eyes to picture how much love we have to share together. I will keep sharing this testimony all over the world. All thanks to Dr. Sam for the good work that he has done for me. Contact him now because he is very powerful and he will always help you. Believe him and do all he ask you to do and never doubt him in any way. (Supremespellcast@gmail.com or Supremespellcast@yahoo.com WhatsApp +2347087462033) His Website http://supremespellcast.website2.me his blog> https://supremespellcast.blogspot.com

Submitted by Database Management Assignment Help on Mon, 07/09/2018 - 06:31

Things are very open and intensely clear explanation of issues. was truly information. Your website is very beneficial. Database Management Assignment Help

Submitted by Help With Operating System Homework on Mon, 07/09/2018 - 06:33

I’m really impressed with your article, such great & usefull knowledge you mentioned here Help With Operating System Homework

Submitted by help with programming on Mon, 07/09/2018 - 06:33

The leading assignment help UK firm offers state of the art services to its clients with a promise of delivering all the required work well within the deadline. help with programming