By FWi staff
HERD performance is set to improve significantly as producers battle to overcome falling margins, according to ADAS predictions.
Figures for the next 12 months indicate that total milk production in the average ADAS-costed herd will increase by 14% to just over 1.1million litres.
Although part of that gain will come from more cows – 145 in the average herd compared with 137 today-yields will rise 8% to 7660 litres/cow.
“This is expected to be the general trend with most of our clients,” said Ian Powell, ADAS milk cheque manager.
“The average herd yield increase should be easily achieved with the current improvement in genetics.
“Increased herd size is mainly attributable to a reduced culling rate,” he adds.
Promar Farm and Rural Consulting predicts a similar increase although its figures are slightly lower.
“10-12% of dairy farmers are expected to shut down this year. Consequently, those remaining will have to increase their herd size and milk yield,” says Tim Harper from Promar.
“Individual farms are already close to capacity and will struggle to expand.
“Farmers are having to consider options such as joining forces or sharing contracting in order to satisfy the market.”
ADAS-12 month rolling average results show that yield now stands at 7092 litres/cow in the year to March compared with 6612 litres a year ago.
On the same basis, average milk price was 18.08p, down 1.3p. The rolling average margin over purchased feed/litre was 14.8p compared with 16.2p a year ago.
However, the top 10% of herds achieved a MOPF of 15.35ppl in the year to March.
Promars Milkminder results show a similar trend. The annual rolling results indicate that herd size has increased 9.5% over the last 12 months to 130 cows.
Milk yield has also risen by 4.6% over the same period to 6904 litres.
Milk price has fallen from just under 19.4ppl to about 18p.