With cash flow and profitability under pressure, now is a good time to re-focus and check that your diets are doing what they should be doing. Milk volume is a major driver for farm profitability and diets need to be balanced to maximize feed efficiency. An effective way of improving profitability is to feed cows to produce more milk, hence spreading the cost of production over a greater number of litres. Increasing the energy content of the diet can lead to improved yield, quality, fertility and hence income. And one of the easiest and safest ways to increase energy is to add Megalac rumen-protected fat to your dairy diets.
Figure 1 shows margin per cow per day for a combination of different Megalac and milk prices. For example, at a milk price of 25 ppl, feeding 450g / head / day Megalac at £800 / tonne, the margin per cow per day is 22 p. That is almost a ‘free’ litre of milk per cow per day!
Figure 1 Margin at different prices for Megalac and milk
Looking across the past year (see Figure 2), even in times of low milk price and high fat prices, it has always been profitable to continue to feed Megalac and with the current reduction in the Megalac price, the return on investment (ROI) is continuing to rise based on monthly average milk prices.
Figure 2 Changes in ROI with Megalac price over the past year
Remember a cow needs more than just ’the bare necessities’! If she is producing 40 litres of milk at 4% fat, she is ‘losing’ 1.6 kg of fat each day which must be supplied in her diet to maintain energy balance and hence body condition. For high yielding cows fat levels of up to 6 to 8% of DM may be required in the diet.
Apart from an extra 2.3 litres of milk, don’t forget the hidden lifetime benefits of feeding sufficient amounts of the right kind of fat – maintaining healthy cows with excellent fertility.