15 August 1997

Make most of grass

CUT feed bills and take advantage of seasonality payments by making better use of grass this month.

That is the advice from Mark Woodall of Axient, formerly Genus Consultancy, to dairy farmers facing falling returns.

Latest Milkminder figures show that while the cost of bought-in feed fell £3 to £141/t in June, the amount used was higher than five years ago.

"The average UK cow gives only 1000 litres a year from grazed grass – yet it is four times cheaper to produce than silage and seven times cheaper than concentrates," says Mr Woodall.

With lower grain and straight prices being quoted for the winter, concentrate bills will fall. "But while theres ample grass to graze, make the most of it during August."

&#8226 Genus has announced after-tax profits of £4.5m in the year to Mar 31, 1997. This marks a 10-fold rise on the previous year – although making a £2.8m contribution to the bottom line was of the sale of property onto a buoyant market. Turnover fell 2.5%, however.