Are you an average dairy farmer?  

Dairy consultant Matt Ryan asked the audience at the Irish Grassland Association Dairy Conference if they think they are ‘average’ dairy farmers.

He questioned if dairy farmers know what ‘average’ means?

If your herd average was 4% and 3.6% for fat and protein, respectively, in 2014, then half the cows are producing below these levels.

“Therefore, if you are not expanding and you can or intend to sell off the lowest 10-20% of cows with low % fat and protein then you will increase both by nearly 0.05% each. This will be worth an extra 0.34c/L profit in 2015, or €17/cow/year for every cow in the herd.”

The Nenagh-based consultant said cost saving for farmers in a low milk price year is an ‘attitude’ which does not come easy to the Irish psyche.

He advises farmers to plan now for the rest of 2015 and said that any such plan should centre around 0.2-0.3c/L off all costs, at least.

“Generally the better dairy farmer the more of the profit is put in place at the beginning of the year. The poorer farm manager will wait and see what is left at the end of the year.”

He also advised to match stocking rate per hectare with the amount of gras being grown on the farm.

Ryan made the comments today at the Irish Grassland Association Dairy Conference attended by over 450 dairy farmers. The event featured very exciting line up of speakers covering a range of topics including; dealing with the last three months of quota, growing more grass, pathways into dairying and valuable lessons learned from New Zealand.

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