With the first quarter of another low profit or no profit year now gone, surviving into the next will see many dairy units continue to alter their business structure.
One unit featured in this Update has made such a change by venturing into a contract dairy herd management agreement, rather than reinvesting in its existing unit. And it hopes to make a reasonable profit, without taking on extra borrowing this year.
While these radical changes will produce a secure increase in profit, this should not be at the expense of technical performance in the key areas of grassland management, mastitis and cow fertility.
The national decline in cow fertility is a huge concern to the industry and in reality both high yielding and low yielding cows are at risk of this costly problem.
But technology and research are beginning to help some units improve fertility, as we report in this Update.
However, there is still the long-term need to secure an improvement in milk prices. While much of this is outside producers hands, joining our FARMERS WEEKLY/Dairy Crest School Milk Matters campaign could help.
Farmer Focus 3
Contracting dairying pays up 6
Group asks grazing questions 8
Care needed with pasture renovation 10
Food ingredients: An expanding market 12
Dont cut dry cow therapy 14
Low cost heifer rearing 16
School Milk Matters 19
Irish fertility study shows good results possible with high merit cows 20
Technology to improve cow fertility 22
Cattle crushes 26
Edited by Jessica BussNext issue August 2