6 December 1996

Cake no option on Kiwi units

GENETIC improvement is the only way to increase productivity when milk price is low.

In New Zealand concentrate prices were rarely low enough to justify their use because of the low milk price – 12p/litre last year – said Prof Colin Holmes of Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

For economy the system adopted must depend on the ratio of milk price to the price of feeds available. Grazed grass was their cheapest feed.

But it was difficult producing high yields off grazed pasture alone, he added.

In recent years, production costs on some units had increased in line with higher milk prices. But the indirect costs of delivering feed to cows had turned them back to lower cost systems.