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Dairy Costings Focus Report

Dairy Costings Focus Report reveals differences in feed and health costs.

DairyCostingsFocusCover2013Kingshay Dairy Manager costings show it’s not so much the dairy system chosen or where in the UK a farm is based, but how well the herd is managed when it comes to maximising margins.

There is a massive 5.5ppl difference between the top and bottom 25% when Kingshay recorded herds are ranked by margin over purchased feed (MOPF), equivalent to £55,000 for a herd with a 1m litre output. But when the data is ranked by many other parameters, such as region, herd size, yields and feeding system, results typically vary by less than 1.5ppl in MOPF. The exception is when ranking by yield from forage, where the top 25% achieve a MOPF of 3.5ppl more than the bottom 25%.

View the report here

“When we look at the ranking by MOPF in more detail, we see the top 25% herds secure 1.8ppl more for their milk, mostly resulting from higher volumes and negotiating better contracts, although their milk quality is better too,” says Kingshay’s Kathryn Rowland. “The remaining 3.17ppl comes from improved feed use efficiency, including getting more from forage.

“Since March 2012, the gap between between the top and bottom 25% has widened from 4.9ppl, with the top 25% down 0.35ppl and bottom down 0.95ppl in the current year, with those using more purchased feed harder hit by rising feed prices,” explains Mrs Rowland.

“Feed is not the only cost to take into account when reviewing the best way to manage dairy cows, but it is the biggest and most variable cost, making it important to monitor it and manage use throughout the year. Our Profit Manager data shows a strong link between MOPF and profit.”

Results from Kingshay’s Health Manager service also show how the difference between the best and worst performing herds can be worth 1.6ppl in fertility costs and 2.3ppl in health costs.

Kingshay’s second edition of the Annual Dairy Costings Focus Report compares data for the 2012-2013 year, hit by poor forage conditions, with the previous year and includes analysis by regions, yield bands and systems, plus results from Kingshay’s Health Manager service, including fertility, cell counts and vet costs. 

Note: Data tables from the report may be reproduced in part or full by the Press in conjunction with an article and with credit to the source as Kingshay Dairy Manager.