1 March 2002

More yield, less costs

INCREASING yield of a 179-cow herd from 6763 litres/cow/year to 9000 litres would reduce total costs by more than 2p/litre without needing to increase cow numbers, according to farm consultants AKC.

The companys Peter Ridout told the conference the only real cost of increasing yield to higher levels was feed. AKCs dairy clients average 6763 litres with a total feed cost of 4.49p/litre. "This would increase to 5.07p/litre for a 9000 litre herd, but other costs would fall."

Although he admitted it may be necessary to buy a larger bulk tank, this could bring savings in other areas such as electricity through improved efficiency. "Milk quota costs and a possible requirement for more skilled labour should also be considered when increasing yield," he said.

For businesses wishing to expand, the alternative would be to increase cow numbers and maintain average yields, said Mr Ridout. "But to attain equivalent milk output to a 9000-litre herd would need an extra 59 cows, 29ha extra forage area, extra housing and 650t more forage storage capacity." &#42

Going for yield could bring savings of 2p/litre, says Peter Ridout.