AgriLive Smithfield 09:Set farm-specific targets

No matter what beef prices are, farmers will not make a profit if they do not hit performance targets, said Rob Drysdale, Westpoint Vet Group, speaking at a Production Medicine Planning Workshop at this year’s AgriLIVE Smithfield, Stoneleigh.

And it is essential farmers work closely with their vets to set and achieve these goals.

“It is important to look at your own business, before comparing yourselves to others, and set individual, farm-specific targets.

“All I’m asking is for farmers to use their own farm records to make a positive step to control disease and increase profits.”

For example, one unit identified a calf mortality rate of 4.1% with 15.5% of calves treated for pneumonia. “We recognised pneumonia as a problem and identified environment as a key stress factor.”

By spending £2000 on wood and gale breakers, mortality has been reduced to 2.1%, with 8.2% treated for pneumonia.

“Daily liveweight gain has also increased by 100g/day from 0.81-0.91g/day.”