The key areas to focus on to improve farm profitability in 2019

Nov 26, 2018, 10:40 AM

Dairy Specialist George Ramsbottom takes a look at the key areas that farmers should focus on to improve farm profitability in 2019, based on his analysis of the Profit Monitor. 

Farmers can influence income in the form of milk composition and quality - higher fat and protein constituents and low SCC is worth up to 4-5 c/l, giving additional income of €225 per cow.  George gives a guide as to what some of the main costs should look like. 

Firstly, concentrate should be 3-4c/l or €150-200/cow, practically this means a cow is fed 500-700 kg concentrate. With many farmers, additional concentrate beyond this point is not resulting in any additional profit. Secondly, fertiliser should be 2-3c/kg or €120-150/cow. 

George makes particular reference to use of lime and explained that where pH is correct on farms, the efficiency of other nutrients such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium will be improved leading to greater grass production.

He sums up by explaining farmers need to get the basics right - excellent fertility (for both the herd and soils) and focus on grassland, and get cows out early allowing a long lactation from a predominantly grazed grass diet.

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