Benefit-Cost Analysis of NIRS Feeding Initiative for the Alberta Dairy and Beef Cattle Industry

  • Author / Creator
    Li, Zheng
  • Near-Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS) is considered a promising technique for feed analysis. The main advantages of NIRS are the speed and efficiency with which feeds may be analyzed for nutrient content and the fact that NIRS can accomplish this without destroying the test samples, meaning that they can be tested repeatedly. However, the economic benefits associated with farmer adoption of NIRS have not been studied to any significant extent. This study conducted a benefit-cost analysis for the dairy and beef cattle backgrounding and finishing sectors in Alberta and western Canada. A least-cost ration model was developed to evaluate feed cost savings associated with the adoption of NIRS. This was compared with the costs of adoption to quantify net benefits. Estimates of net benefits were then converted to an animal unit ($ per head) to allow aggregation to an industry level for Alberta and for western Canada. Sensitivity analyses were also performed to examine the effects of changes in feed ingredient prices, NIRS adoption costs, and discount rate. The final results suggested that it would be economically feasible to commercially introduce NIRS technology on dairy and beef cattle farms in Alberta and western Canada.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.