Dairy men act to stem losses

15 May 1998

Dairy men act to stem losses

IMPROVED management and cheaper feed has seen dairy farmers partly offset lower milk prices. But losses are still considerable.

A drop in the rolling annual milk price of 3.69p/litre (-14.7%) works out at a £239 fall in margin over feed a cow, latest Axient Milkminder figures show.

But by increasing milk yields and feeding smaller amounts of cheaper concentrate, producers recouped a third of the drop in milk values, reducing the fall in feed margin to £157/cow. Yield from forage rose by 290 litres a cow, almost 11%.

Ayrshire dairy farmer Willie Campbell, who milks 85 cows, reckons he is £4000 worse off than he anticipated last November due to a steep fall in milk price and the latest green £ revaluation.

"My milk price for the year will be down 6.8p/litre or £28,800 in total and the green pound will cut income by a further £4400," he said. "I reckon my total feed and fertiliser savings will be £6900 which is £1700 more than my November estimate but still leaves my margin over feed and fertiliser £26,300 down on the year," he said.

See more