30 August 1996

Costs hit milk returns

RISING concentrate costs continue to take the cream off milk producers returns.

Latest Milkminder figures from Genus for July show that feed rate has been cut to 0.19kg/litre of milk produced, compared with 0.21kg this time last year. (More abundant grass is the main reason.)

But a £14/t rise in the feed bill to £153/t means the concentrate cost a litre is unchanged at 2.9p.

At least milk from forage continues to improve, up 1.44 litres to 11.68 litres a cow a day in July. This has contributed to a 1.15p increase in margin over purchased feed to 24.7p/litre for Genus recorded herds. But, while there have been efficiency improvements, most of this gain is due to the higher milk price, which averaged 27.54p/litre last month.

On a 12-month rolling basis, Genus herds are now operating at 21.14p/litre over feed costs, equivalent to £1344 a cow – up 8% on last year. &#42