Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Extra feed equals extra dollars for dairy farmers

12 March 2014

Extra feed equals extra dollars for dairy farmers

With farmgate milk prices at an all-time high, maintaining production for the final months of the season is a priority for dairy farmers, and getting those extra kilos of milk solids means making some good calls around feed.

Low rainfall and drying winds in some parts of the country is slowing grass growth, while in other regions, there has been enough rain to maintain good pasture conditions. Ballance Agri-Nutrients General Manager Sales, Andrew Reid says farmers taking stock of mid-summer feed supplies can look to Ballance for the right advice on nutrient choices to keep herds producing.

“Because we take cover the complete farm nutrients spectrum, we’re in a good position to help farmers use forage and supplementary feed to keep up production. What to use, and when, will all depend on individual farm goals and weather conditions.”

Ballance Science Manager, Aaron Stafford says the “grow your own feed” approach stacks up competitively when conditions are right. Products like SustaiN, which is urea coated with the urease inhibitor AGROTAIN® nitrogen stabiliser, work by reducing ammonia volatilisation, which can be a problem when rainfall does not immediately follow application. An average autumn nitrogen response is around seven kilos of dry matter for every kilogram of nitrogen applied.

“As all farmers know, you need to watch the weather if using standard urea and without 5-10 mm rainfall within 8 hours of application, ammonia volatilisation losses from standard urea can be in excess of 10-15% of the nitrogen applied. We know from our work with AgResearch and Landcare Research that using SustaiN will deliver about 50% reduction in volatilisation loss, relative to standard urea”

Results from Ballance animal nutrition division SealesWinslow’s Tracker™ System shows herds being tracked for production have achieved 60-65% of this season’s targets, but in drier regions where grass growth is reduced there is the risk of falling short of production goals. SealesWinslow Consultant Nutritionist James Hague says rather than focusing on the cost of individual feed, farmers should concern themselves more with margins over feed and forage.

“Working out the cost versus benefit of each individual feed can be tricky as in practice the total diet is just one feed to the cow, so it’s important to get a good handle on what the diet costs per cow per day and offset this against the milk income to find the margin.”

For example:

Per cowStay the sameFeed moreDifference
Milk production(KgMS)1.41.60.2
Milk income (@ $8.65 payout)$12.11$13.28+$1.73
Diet cost (average cost of extra DM = 35 cents)$3.20$3.90+$0.70
Margin$8.91$9.94+$1.03

“If cows are milking at just 0.2 KgMS below their potential for the remaining 100 – 110 days left of the season, the 20-22 KgsMS lost would mean around $180 of income per cow of lost opportunity. For a 350 cow herd that’s $63,000,” says Mr Hague.

Mr Hague and Mr Stafford both advise farmers to look closely at feed plans now, as feed and forage need to work hand in hand for the best results.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Company Results: Air NZ Rides The Tourism Boom With Record Full-Year Earnings

Air New Zealand has ridden the tourism boom and staved off increased competition to deliver the best full-year earnings in its 76-year history. More>>

ALSO:

New PGP: Sheep Milk Industry Gets $12.6M Crown Funding

The Sheep - Horizon Three programme aims to develop "a market driven, end-to-end value chain generating annual revenues of between $200 million and $700 million by 2030," according to a joint statement. More>>

ALSO:

Half Full: Fonterra Raises Forecast Milk Price

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today increased its 2016/17 forecast Farmgate Milk Price by 50 cents to $4.75 per kgMS. When combined with the forecast earnings per share range for the 2017 financial year of 50 to 60 cents, the total payout available to farmers in the current season is forecast to be $5.25 to $5.35 before retentions. More>>

ALSO:

Keep Digging: Seabed Ironsands Miner TransTasman Tries Again

The first company to attempt to gain a resource consent to mine ironsands from the ocean floor in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone has lodged a new application containing fresh scientific and other evidence it hopes will persuade regulators after their initial application was turned down in 2014. More>>

Wool Pulled: Duvets Sold As ‘Premium Alpaca’ Mostly Sheep’s Wool

Rotorua business Budge Collection Limited (Budge) and sole director, Sun Dong Kim, were convicted and fined a total of $71,250 in Auckland District Court after each pleading guilty to four charges of misrepresenting how much alpaca fibre was in their duvets. More>>

Reserve Bank: Labour Calls For Monetary Policy To Expand Goals

Labour's comments follow a speech today by RBNZ governor Graeme Wheeler in which Wheeler sought to answer critics who variously say he should stop lowering interest rates, lower them faster, or that inflation-targeting should no longer be the primary goal of the central bank's activities. More>>

ALSO:

BSA Extension And Sunday Morning Ads: Digital Convergence Bill Captures Online Content

Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams has today announced the Government’s plans to update the Broadcasting Act to better reflect today’s converged market... The Government considered four areas as part of its review into content regulation: classification requirements, advertising restrictions, election programming and contestable funding. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news