Low milk price is affecting dairy farmers globally and most farmers are looking for ways to reduce expenses while maintaining milk production. Here are some tips when trying to cut dairy farm expenses:
1) Do not cut anything that decreases milk production
The focus should be on income over feed cost.
It is more important to ensure milk production is increased or maintained than trying to cut feed cost.
2) Do not cut anything that will decrease pregnancy rate
Next to milk production, getting cows pregnant is the most important thing to do for your farm to be profitable.
The goal is to achieve 150 days in milk.
Lower days in milk means higher milk production and lower feed costs.
Feed represents the largest expense. Hence, spend time to examine how to reduce feed cost.
Work with your nutritionist to determine your feed cost.
3) Calculate feed cost
Calculate daily feed cost per head for each group of animals.
Then, consider your production and milk price and calculate how many dollars of milk per cow per day are going out the door.
Make sure the feed cost per cow per day is about half the value of milk going out of the door per cow each day.
4) Have high quality forage
Your nutritionist is only as good as the forage you give him or her to work with.
High quality forage lowers purchased feeds needed and total feed cost. It also increases dry matter intake and milk production.
When feeding quality forage, digestibility of forage, whole farm yields and cow preference needs to be taken into consideration.