4 February 2000


A NEW year, a new millennium – but same alarm clock ringing each morning, cows to milk and silage to feed. In fact much has stayed the same.

Some may say too much, as low prices continue to dampen spirits – and they may fall even further this year.

Most producers have made changes to improve profitability – and should be commended for doing so. But when changes are successful, sitting back for too long will soon see the farms performance, physical and financial, at a standstill – something few can afford.

One producer featured in this Update spent many years mastering white clover management and could have accepted that success. But he is now learning about red clover, and how he can fit it in to his forage policy for extra profit as an organic farm.

Another producer featured has changed breed of cow, and one has traded in a telehandler – bought in better times – for a cheaper tractor and loader combination. Neither regrets their decision to move on and both have profited from these changes.

Perhaps a braver move is going into partnership with a producer who wants to give up the daily milking routine, and expanding production with his cows. We find out how one milk producer is benefiting from this business arrangement.

Thats not to say improving profitability is easy, or the solution for each farm the same. But there are ways to lower production costs and hopefully achieve some profit. Look out for more ideas in next months Dairy Update on Mar 3.

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