2 August 2002

DONTBEDAMPENED DOWN

No one can say it hasnt been a poor summer, the weather dampened silage making prospects in most parts and milk prices have failed to increase. The UK dairy industry seems to have many problems.

But those who plan will find a way to survive and eventually prosper, even though that may be at the expense of those who fail to take any remedial action. Business planning, with a

cautious approach to risk and

benchmarking to avoid costs spiralling out of control, has seen one Welsh unit in this Update expand successfully. The unit is in the top 25% of the HSBC/ADAS Spotlight costed farms.

On the silage front, the new Feed Into Milk rationing system could not come into play at a better time. As this Update reveals, it should provide

better estimates of feed intakes and

optimise ration costs.

Producers can buy a version of the rationing software to make their own rations too, but it may prove more

difficult to win that challenge than your average computer game. We should not forget we expect a lot from high performance cows and both

feeding and environment are critical. Cow environment can determine

performance and taking a look at how cows behave and making units more comfortable and less stressful to live in could see milk yields and fertility improve, according to two features in this Update.

Farmer Focus 3

Cost-control for safe expansion 6

Watching cows to find unit faults 8

Feed Into Milk cuts winter ration costs 10

Tricky to cope with tough grazing season 12

Beware of copper poisoning cows13

Is stress limiting your potential? 14

Dairy Event ticket offer 15

Maintaining dirty water irrigators 16

Smaller breed fits cubicles and future plans 18

Edited by Jessica Buss