Impact of COVID-19 on Dairy Herd Profitability: A Review at the Global Level

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Alireza Rahmani Shahraki
Ahmadreza Mirzaei
Arya Badiei
Joao H Jabur Bittar
Kristina Ruth Mueller
Abasali Naserian
Seyed Amin Razavi


The occurrence of several pandemics in recent decades has posed a significant threat to human and animal health. The COVID-19 pandemic, which rapidly spread to 187 countries, has caused significant economic disruption in various industries, including the dairy industry. The dairy industry has been affected by supply chain disruptions, consumer behavior changes, and global demand shifts due to the pandemic. The present review aims to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly from the dairy farm level, and propose strategies for mitigating the effects of future global crisis events. The dairy industry, a major source of income for many dairy herds, was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The consumption patterns of milk and dairy products underwent substantial alterations, leading to decreased profitability of dairy farms due to disruptions in the supply chain, increased transportation costs resulting from transportation restrictions, and a shift in consumer purchasing behavior. These factors collectively resulted in reduced revenue from selling milk and dairy products. Heifer replacement considerations also impacted the economic viability of dairy farms. The pandemic caused a shortage of meat (beef, pork, poultry) and a surplus of milk. In addition to the abovementioned factors, the COVID-19 pandemic also impacted other economic indicators, such as gross returns from the sale of culled dairy animals and dairy feed costs. These impacts further amplified the financial challenges faced by the dairy industry and dairy farmers, underscoring the need for robust mitigation strategies and resilient policies to minimize the economic impact of pandemics and other crises. In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted the dairy industry, affecting supply chains and international commerce. Governments are encouraged to implement measures to mitigate the impact of future pandemics on the dairy sector. The authors of this review propose several recommendations for dairy farmers and veterinarians to increase their resilience in the face of future outbreaks. These recommendations include sourcing feed from reliable local farms, acquiring internet connectivity equipment to facilitate communication during travel restrictions, maintaining a sufficient supply of personal protective equipment, incorporating mechanization in farm operations, stockpiling essential veterinary medications and vaccines, and training technicians to perform veterinary procedures in emergencies when veterinary services are unavailable.

Article Details

How to Cite
Rahmani Shahraki, A., Mirzaei, A., Badiei, A., Bittar, J. H. J., Ruth Mueller, K., Naserian, A., & Razavi, S. A. (2023). Impact of COVID-19 on Dairy Herd Profitability: A Review at the Global Level. Farm Animal Health and Nutrition, 2(1), 1–7.
Review Article


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