Analyzing the drivers of profitability.
The MDF is milking 290 cows, a little below target, and the lowest number for many years. Milk solids per cow (now 1.93 kg) is falling, is below the December target, and below last year. However, pasture consumption (58 kg DM per hectare per day) is above target and above last year.
Two reasons seem to explain why one of these two important physical efficiencies that drive the feed margin is up, while the other is down.
First, the cows are now being fed 5.5 kg of wheat compared to the 6.5 kg of barley. Wheat has a higher energy level per kg than barley, but 5.5 kg of wheat has less energy (or feed value) than 6.5 kg of barley. The lower amount of energy, and the lower fibre, in the wheat makes the cows hungrier and looking for feed. They have lifted grass intake from 12.2 kg to 12.7 kg but total per cow intake is down. A good quality forage supplement is warranted. Purchased silage can be poor quality and expensive because often there is only 250 kg DM in a bale. Vetch hay can be pricy, but is high dry matter and more often high quality.
Also, the subsurface drip area has been sprayed out, and another paddock has been ripped up for resowing with millet. So, the grazing area is down 9 hectares. This has created heavier grazing pressure on the remaining paddocks (now 4.5 cows per hectare, which is quite high) so the cows are eating the paddocks out harder, and eating into the reserve of less palatable and poorer grass.
Hectare efficiency (shown by grass per ha) is higher this year, but cow/feed efficiency (shown by milk per cow) is lower. These two physical efficiencies, and the input /output prices, drive the feed margin. To remove the confusing effect of different yearly prices, and to assess only the management of physical efficiency, applying the same input/output prices to both years shows the farm is achieving the same feed margin, although with differing efficiencies, as last year. If both physical efficiencies are high, the feed margin will be very high.
The subsurface drip area is about to be laser graded for flood irrigation. The subsurface drip method of irrigating had great potential and early on showed it could grow massive grass, even in extremely hot weather. But due to some poor installation, holes developing in the tubing, and some blocking of the drippers with roots, it eventually was not doing the job.
|FEED MARGIN PERFORMANCE||MDF TEN DAYS AGO||MDF THIS TEN DAYS||Units|
|Ten days to date:||10-Dec-20||20-Dec-20|
|Milker graze area||66||64||Ha|
|Average graze rest time||30||30||Days|
|Estm’d pasture consmp’n||54||58||kg DM/ha/day|
|Pasture consum’d per cow||12.2||12.7||kg DM/cow/day|
|Pasture growing spend||$5.58||$5.58||$/ha/day|
|Estm’d pasture price||$104||$97||$/T DM|
|Conc (incl additives)supp fed/cow||5.9||5.0||kg DM/cow/day|
|Conc (incl additives)supp avg price||$353||$392||$/T DM|
|Hay/silage supp fed/cow||0.0||0.0||kg DM/cow/day|
|Hay/silage supp price||$/T DM|
|Feed Conversion Efficiency||109||109||kg MS/tonne DM|
|Total feed intake/cow||17.9||17.5||kg DM/cow/day|
|NDF Fibre in diet||34.3%||34.6%||% NDF|
|Milk Solids per cow||1.97||1.93||kg/cow/day|
|Milk price (less levies)/kg MS||$5.78||$5.79||$/kg MS|
|Milk price (less levies)/litre||$0.42||$0.41||$ per litre|
|All feed cost/cow||$3.34||$3.17||$/cow/day|
|Margin over all Feed/cow||$8.06||$8.04||$/cow/day|
|MOAF /ha /day||$35.42||$36.41||$/ha/day|
|Farm MOAF per DAY||$2,338||$2,330||$/day|