Dairy consultant Matt Ryan had four words to help farmers reduce their superlevy bill at the Irish Grassland Association Dairy Conference – once-a-day (OAD) milking.

He said this will help reduce the bill and won’t jeopardize the herd. However, it’s not the only option available to farmers over the next few months, he said.

He said to reduce milk sales dairy farmers could also look at leasing quota, feeding milk to calves and yearlings, buy more calves, rear calves for neighbours, sell February calvers or look at 16:8 hour milking intervals.

He added that feeding less meals to cows and leasing out cows are other options some farmers are considering.

However, OAD milking, he said, is the key to helping reduce an imminent superlevy bill.

“Anyone over quota must go for once a day milking if you want to minimise financial losses.

“You’d want to have a very good reason not to do OAD milking.”

The immediate future of dairy farming, he said is all about grass and it’s all about low-cost milking.

“The future is about doing the basics brilliantly and having a low-cost system.”

Key Performance Indicators

His two key performance indicators that he promised will make dairy farmers a lot of money are:

A six-week calving rate; and,

Grass utilised per ha.

“If you do those to the Teagasc set you will be a wealthy farmer.”

He said that in 2009 dairy farmers were able to reduce their costs by 3c/L, so reducing costs is possible for most farmers.