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Animal Behavior and Welfare
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2010;23(6): 814-824.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2010.90477    Published online April 22, 2010.
Effect of Experience, Education, Record Keeping, Labor and Decision Making on Monthly Milk Yield and Revenue of Dairy Farms Supported by a Private Organization in Central Thailand
S. Yeamkong, S. Koonawootrittriron, M. A. Elzo, T. Suwanasopee
The objective of this research was to assess the effect of experience, education, record keeping, labor, and decision making on monthly milk yield per farm (MYF), monthly milk yield per cow (MYC), monthly milk revenue per farm (MRF), and monthly revenue per cow (MRC) of dairy farms supported by a private organization in Central Thailand. The dataset contained 34,082 monthly milk yield and revenue records collected from January 2004 to December 2008 on 497 farms, and information on individual farmer experience and education, record keeping, and decision making obtained with a questionnaire. Farmer experience categories were i) no experience, ii) one year, iii) two to five years, iv) six to ten years, v) eleven to fifteen years, vi) sixteen to twenty years, and vii) more than twenty years. Farmer education categories were i) no education or primary school, ii) high school, and iii) bachelor or higher degree. Record keeping categories were: i) no records and ii) kept records. Labor categories were: i) family, ii) hired people, and iii) family and hired people. Decision making categories were: i) decisions made by farmers themselves, ii) decisions made with help from government officials, and iii) decisions made with help from organization staff. The mixed linear model contained the fixed effects of year-season, farm location-farm size subclass, experience, education, record keeping, labor, and decision making on sire selection, and the random effects of farm and residual. Results showed that longer experience increased (p<0.05) monthly milk yield (MYF and MYC) and revenue (MRF and MRC). Farms that hired people produced the highest (p<0.05) monthly milk yield (MYF and MYC) and revenue (MRF and MRC), followed by farms that used family, and the lowest values were for farms that used both family and hired people. Better educated farmers produced more MYC and MRC (p<0.05) than lower educated farmers. Farms that kept records had higher MYF and MRF (p<0.05) than those without records. Although differences among farms were non-significant, farms that received help from the organization staff had higher monthly milk yield (MYF and MYC) and revenue (MRF and MRC) than those that decided by themselves or with help from government officials. These findings suggested that dairy farmers needed systematic training and continuous support to improve farm milk production and revenues in a sustainable manner.
Keywords: Dairy Farming; Milk Production; Revenue; Farmer; Tropics
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