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WP6 has the objective to elaborate a prefiguration (beta-version) of a software-based decision support toolbox for herd health management in organic dairy. The software module “impact matrix” has been developed according to plan and has been used during the second farm visits in WP2. As further tools: a health monitoring tool, two approaches of cost-benefit analyses, enabling the identification of measures with the best cost-benefit relationship, and protocols for prevention and treatments have been elaborated under WP2, WP3, WP4 and WP5.
During a test-phase 23 farmer, 15 veterinarians and 3 advisors in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands provided their assessment on the usefulness and usability of the tools. Most of the participants (56 %) valued the toolbox as a useful addition to their usual process of decision making, providing a better understanding of the herd health situation.
At the same time it became clear that a new approach which is a tedious task because it forces participants to leave old path, change perspectives and deal with complexity and uncertainty, will only be broadly valued if other stakeholders (particularly retailers) put more pressure on the goal to reduce the prevalence of production diseases in organic dairy production which is urgently needed to justify the premium prices of organic labelled products.