1 March 2002

PASTPRACTICE QUERIES

Nobody wants to hear that they should be taking lessons from others on the job they do each day. But these are tough times and the way dairy farms have always been run may not see them succeed, with milk prices under pressure once again this summer.

But there is always more than one possible road to any destination. At least this year, if we can keep foot-and-mouth at bay, it will be easier to meet up with other producers to discuss the options available for improving profits.

These opportunities should be seized with enthusiasm and an open mind. But the solution for any farm could easily differ from that of its neighbour and working out ways to improve profit on any unit will take careful thought.

This Update also highlights ways to improve profitability worth considering. This includes maximising efficiency the Australian way and amalgamating two 160-cow herds, run by one family, to cut £50,000 a year from overhead costs.

Improving cow nutrition through selecting grass varieties from more profitable leys, whole-crop peas and careful ration monitoring also feature and it may be worth considering these options to reduce feed costs or increase cow output.

Farmer Focus 3

Dairying the Aussie way 6

Feeding for more yield 10

Hybrid ryegrass persistency good 12

Loading, moving and mixing with one macho machine 14

Whole-crop peas positive debut 16

Comfort and ration route to profit 18

Altering calving pattern to cut costs 20

Frequent ration changes benefit cow performance 22

Three generations see fit to double output 24

Selecting easy-calving beef sires 28

International bull proofs 30

Edited by Jessica Buss

Next issue April 5