Benchmarking Data & Formulas

Special Topics Issue:
Benchmarking Antimicrobial Use
& Antimicrobials in the Environment
Page 05 /

What Data is Necessary for Benchmarking?

Collection of reliable antimicrobial use data is critical for any type of benchmarking program to be successful. 

As outlined by Mills et al. (2018), there are several types of data that can be used, but different producers must collect the same data components so that the information can be compared between farms. There are also different ways of adjusting the data to account for the weight of animals being treated, the number of days in the production cycle, and the type of antimicrobial being used.

Here are some examples of different metrics that can be used to measure antimicrobial use8:

  • 1. Total mg

  • 2. Total mg/kg

  • 3. Defined Daily Dose (DDD)

  • 4. Course dose metrics

There are clear pros and cons of the different metrics discussed above. Using defined daily dose (DDD) or defined course dose (DCD) are the most representative measures to compare antimicrobial use on different farms and are highly recommended when creating benchmarking reports.

For more information on the different measures that can be used to quantify antimicrobial use, check out:

Applying Defined Daily Dose and Defined Course Dose 

To set up a benchmarking process, it is important to ensure that reliable antimicrobial use data is available. One potential source of data is veterinary clinic dispensing data11, assuming that all antimicrobial products are purchased from participating clinics. 

Below is an example of how AMU could be calculated using a dairy farm with 200 milking and dry cows and a veterinary clinic using DDD and DCD:

  • Step 1: Determine the quantity of each antimicrobial used

  • Step 2: Convert to number of Canadian defined daily doses or defined course doses