Feed cost have been rising steadily in recent times. It is important to focus on things that you can control such as on farm forage production, cow's health, reproduction and milk production.
Here are some of the things that you should focus on:
Putting up high quality forage is important for long term profitability.
Maximising silage in the ration is also crucial as silage is the most economical feed for dairy cows.
Farmers should also evaluate the efficiency of their rations. Although feed cost are high, it is recommended not to remove any ration components that will contribute to the cow's health and reproduction.
Cow's health also plays a role in milk production. It is important to include nutritional additives that will improve the cow's health although it may not necessarily increase the milk production.
Farmers must always have open mindedness, hands on approach as well as accurate records of the herd.
It is also encouraged to have a simple ration formula. This ensures that the ration is consistent and mixing errors are minimised.
Sometimes, unexpected problems arise such as increasing corn prices. However, with proper management and careful planning, these challenges can be overcome by decreasing the corn ration to include 7 - 10 pounds of corn instead of the usual 12 - 15 pounds per cow per day.
The dairy industry today is highly efficient. It becomes difficult to try to squeeze more milk out. However, successful farmers are always ahead of the curve and will innovate to stay on top of their game.