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Awareness and perceived value of economic information in controlling somatic cell count

Abstract

A survey of dairy farmers assessed whether they were aware of the potential production and economic benefits of adopting and implementing efficient practices to control somatic cell count (SCC), and whether providing them with additional information on projected economic losses on a regular basis might motivate them to implement enhanced control programmes. In-depth interviews revealed that the majority of the dairy farmers perceived cow-specific and herd-specific projected losses due to elevated SCCs, as not very relevant to them. Farmers considered that SCC was already monitored regularly at individual cow level, which provided them with adequate information to support decision-making. The farmers justified their actions with regard to SCC control in terms of their intention to manage the problem, and their belief in whether their efforts would be successful. Actions were rationalised in a specific context comprising the intertwined notions of intentions and efficacy beliefs.

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