What is the National Dairy Study?
The 2015 National Dairy Study is the first ever nationally representative study of dairy health and management conducted in Canada. It was inspired by the National Animal Health Monitoring Systems (NAHMS) studies that are conducted in the United States. National animal health and management studies allow us to dig deeper into trends, explore regional differences and make reliable comparisons.
Here's a look at what the Canadian dairy industry looks like in 2014.
Our goal was to use surveys and on-farm visits to collect production, health and management data from Canadian dairy farms across the country. Using consistent collection methods and tools, we were able to provide a representative picture of Canadian dairy farms.
The National Dairy Study was conducted in three phases:
Phase i: Needs assessment
In 2014, we solicited stakeholder feedback to prioritize the main focus areas for the study. We followed up with consultations to narrow the focus, avoid duplication, and partner with other Dairy Cluster II research projects, if possible. The methods and results of this needs assessment have been published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Check out our Resources page for more.
phase ii: survey
In 2015, we released the national questionnaire to Canadian dairy producers. PDF versions of the questionnaire (in English and French) can be found below.
Table 1 | Regional Distribution of the farms surveyed in Phase II, and sampled in Phase III compared to farm distributions in Canada as determined by Statistics Canada in 2015.
phase iii: on-farm
With the questionnaire finished, regional farm visits were conducted on a subset of Canadian dairy farms that had participated in the questionnaire.
Table 2 | Sample Size Calculator from the ProAction Animal Care Assessment Program used to determine how many cows would be sampled on individual farms across Canada during Phase III of the National Dairy Study.