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Abstract

In this study, two methods of entering and accessing dairy herd records are compared: the traditional mail-in Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) system and the Direct Access to Records by Telephone (DART) system, which provides more timely and convenient access to records. An evaluation of DART was carried out using mail survey responses from 117 DART users and telephone surveys of 40 randomly selected users. Results indicate that DART users are generally satisfied with the system and feel that it improves their herd management. Variations in use of the DART system by DART users are explained by herd, cost, and management variables. DART users and comparable non-DART, DHI users are compared with respect to gains in herd production efficiency. Results indicate that DART users made somewhat better gains in most efficiency measures but that the differences were generally not statistically significant.

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