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Abstract

Four hundred and ninety five smallholder dairy farms in 52 villages of different cities in Chaharmohal and Bakhtiari province including 1321 lactating cows and totalling 2811 total mature cows (lactating and dry)were employed during winter 2009 to summer 2010 to estimate the economic opportunities as per cow in smallholder dairy farms. A questionnaire survey was employed to collect data from the previous years information, already recorded information, direct recordings during visiting of the farm as well as interview with the small holder farmer. A number of 5 economic opportunities were evaluated using revenue and expense for each farm. An economic opportunity is considered as the level the amount of additional revenue that could be obtained if farmers could improve various productivity indexes to meet the reasonable targets. The overall means of indexes were: 6.99% for average calf mortality, 30.07 months for average age at first calving, 15.77 months for average calf production interval, 335.93 days for average lactation period and 13.30 kg for average daily milk produce per cow the reasonable targets for which were 3.85%, 29 months, 15 months, 376 days and 18 kg, respectively. The sum of economic opportunities per cow per year were estimated as 10523 thousand Rails comprised of 5769 thousand Rails (57.22% total) for average daily milk produce per cow, 1630 thousand Rails (23.06% total) for average lactation length, 1586 thousand Rails (12.68% total) for average age at first calving, 169 thousand Rails (5.46% total) for average calf production interval and 180 thousand Rails (1.58% total) for average calf mortality, respectively. Considerable variations were observed for quintuplet economic opportunities, percent of total and sum of economic opportunities in different cities, seasons and for different breeds. Thus, increasing the average daily milk produce per cow and average lactation duration as well as decreasing average age at first calving along with average calf production interval could considerably affect profit and productivity.

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