How much is that Bossy in the window?

Victor Cabrera200272481-001
Extension Dairy Management Specialist
Department of Dairy science
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
(608) 265-8506
(608) 263-3308

For more information on dairy decision support tools:


Victor Cabrera teaches us the value of the dairy cow.

3:00 – Total Time
0:15 – What is the value of a dairy cow
0:35 – How do you know value of a cow
0:54 – Genetics influences value
1:22 – Calculating value with online tool
2:08 – Breeding stock has different value
2:22 – Immediate results from online tool
2:42 – How to find the web site
2:51 – Lead out

Victor Cabrera on the value of a cow

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Sevie Kenyon: Victor, what is the value of a dairy cow?

Victor Cabrera: It depends. It will vary from negative, and that’s actually the cows we don’t want in the herd, to a very high value(s). A thousand dollars, two thousand dollars, three thousand dollars would not be rare.

Sevie Kenyon: The question then is, what determines the value of a dairy cow?

Victor Cabrera: Well, there are many factors, but the most important ones are the level of productivity of the animal. But also, what we expect from a potential replacement. So the genetic value of the replacement will make a difference.

Sevie Kenyon: The genetic value of a replacement animal affects the value of the animal as it stands there?

Victor Cabrera: That’s completely correct. When we do these analysis basically we are projecting what’s gonna be my net return of a cow in the long term. But, based on the concept that we have limited space on the dairy farm, that space will be used either by the cow, or from a potential replacement. So we want to know which one is best at any point in time.

Sevie Kenyon: What kinds of things go into calculating the value of a cow?

Victor Cabrera: It is a complicated process. The good thing is we do have user-friendly tools available on the web that will allow any user to calculate these values by just manipulating a few input parameters. I believe our critical factors are what is the current state of the cow. And I mean state by what lactation the cow is, what state we think the lactation (is). How many days or how many months after the previous calving, and if the cow’s pregnant or not. The other factor that we need to define is, what we expect from a potential replacement from the genetic (stand)point of view.

Sevie Kenyon: Does it cover breeding stock?

Victor Cabrera: It does. If we do have that information, using that information we could have better calculation of the value of that animal in the long term.

Sevie Kenyon: How long does it take a farmer to enter this information and get a result?

Victor Cabrera: It is basically immediate. Everything works directly out from a web browser and if we want to do that analysis, for all the cows on a herd, the tool will provide almost immediately, a value for every single cow on the herd.

Sevie Kenyon: Are there key words people can search for to come to your website?

Victor Cabrera: It’s very simple. Dairy management, and Wisconsin, and the first hit, it’s gonna be on a web page.

Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting today with Victor Cabrera, Department of Dairy Science as University of Wisconsin Extension in The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Madison, Wisconsin, and I am Sevie Kenyon.




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