Increased dairy profit using manufactured feed
Increased dairy farm profit using manufactured feed
Huge demand from the dairy industry has seen manufactured feed production for this sector of the industry leap almost three-fold in the first quarter of 2008.
Feed manufacturers have reported a 287% increase in production of dairy feed in the March quarter compared to the same period in 2007. In 2007 the production of dairy feed also increased almost 80% on the previous year.
“New Zealand dairy producers are increasingly looking to manufactured feeds to help meet the nutrient requirements of their high producing animals” says Michael Brooks, Executive Director of the New Zealand Feed Manufacturers Association (NZFMA). “No doubt, the drought in some areas like the Waikato, has meant that dairy producers purchased more compound feed than they would have in a normal rainfall year” he added.
“But we are also seeing a continuation of the trend which has been observed over the past 18 months, with dairy farmers realising the benefits available from using manufactured feed as a to supplement our traditional grass-fed dairy farming system.
“We believe that the dairy industry’s renewed focus on increasing productivity as laid out in the Strategic Framework for New Zealand’s Future Dairy Farming, combined with increased land costs and the high dairy commodity prices makes the use of compound feeds by New Zealand dairy farmers a cost-effective and profitable strategy”.
“Manufactured feeds have a number of benefits over other feedstuffs and in many cases can fulfil functions which other feeds simply cannot” said Michael Brooks. There’s a lot more information available on the strategic use of manufactured feeds in the booklet developed by the NZFMA in 2007. “This document drew on a wide range of expertise available from within our membership and illustrates the benefits available to dairy farmers who use manufactured feeds as part of their feeding strategy” said Mr. Brooks. The document can be downloaded, free of charge, from the NZFMA website (www.nzfma.org.nz).
Michael Brooks acknowledge that the international cost of grain and commodities used in animal feed production has risen exponentially in the past year but he noted that the industry is continually looking at ways in which the impact of increased grain costs can be minimised. “Strategies such as the use of forward purchasing contracts, the use of least-cost linear programming in feed formulation, and evaluation of raw materials and product specifications are some of the strategies which NZFMA members can use to ensure the feed they produce is both cost effective and will meet the needs of New Zealand dairy farmers” said Mr. Brooks.