Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Extension

Major Professor

Cecil E. Carter Jr.


Concern over a leveling off of DHI participation led to a comparison of Tennessee dairy producers who either continued or discontinued the use of DHI in 1983. Comparisons between the groups included producer and herd characteristics, number of Extension contacts and use of recommended management practices. Reasons for using or discontinuing DHI were sought and comparisons made between reasons and producer and herd characteristics. Data was collected through mail surveys of producers who discontinued DHI and randomly selected producers who remained on DHI. Comparison of the two groups revealed that producers who continued DHI had been in dairying more years, on DHI more years, had higher education levels and had higher present herd averages than did producers who discontinued DHI. Those who continued also used more of the recommended management practices than did those who discontinued. No difference was found in the number of Extension contacts for each group. Producers who discontinued indicated that they left because the program had become too expensive. Producers who continued DHI indicated that they used DHI to provide a guide for culling cows and as a means to increase production levels. Implications of the study were that producer characteristics and possibly use of recommended practices could be used to flag producers likely to continue or discontinue DHI. Costs need to be reduced to encourage producers to continue DHI. Also efforts should be made to emphasize the benefits of using DHI to encourage continued use of DHI.

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