Abstract #694

# 694
Effect of calving interval on the economic results of dairy farms based on their typology.
Anne-Catherine Dalcq*1, Yves Beckers1, Patrick Mayeres2, Benoit Wyzen2, Hélène Soyeurt1, 1Université de Liège-Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Gembloux, Belgium, 2Walloon Breeders Association, Ciney, Belgium.

The calving interval (CI) can influence the milk production (MP) and the economic results of a farm. This research aimed to highlight the most economically important CI, on the basis of the accounts of breeders. The data set contained 1,318 accounts spread between 2007 and 2012. Technical information such as mean CI of the herd, percent of cows with a CI of less than 380 d (m380), between 380 and 419 d (e380419), between 420 and 459 d (e420459) and more than 459 d (p459), mean MP of the herd; as well as typological information such as quantity of equivalent concentrate (CC), number of ares of grass (GR) and of corn silage (CS) per livestock unit (LU); and economic information such as mean gross margin per cow were available. The relation between CI and the gross margin showed that if a single economic optimum of CI cannot be determined, this optimum could depend on the typology of the farm. Therefore, 4 groups were created by using a multiple correspondence analysis, including quantity of equivalent CC, number of ares of GR and of CS per LU as variables. The first group was the most intensive one with a feeding based mostly on CC and CS; the second group was similar but less intensive. The third group was the most extensive with high GR consumption. The fourth group was characterized by a near absence of CS but more CC. Moreover, m380, e380420, e420459, p459 were transformed from quantitative to qualitative variables by using numerical classification. A qualitative variable CI profile was created as a summary of all these variables. In each group, MP was modeled using the different CI variables. The assumption behind this modeling was that for a typological profile, the breeder must have the highest MP to maximize the gross margin. These models showed that MP is maximized when p459 is lower than 26%, lower than 37%, above 27% for the group 1, 2, 3 respectively. For the group 4, the model with the variable CI profile suggested that the economic optimum of CI is intermediate. These results underlined that the economic optimum of CI is related to the typology of the considered farm. Studying individual data is a perspective to determine more precisely CI with the best economic results.

Key Words: calving interval, milk production, economic results