Good Management and Breeding Will Generate Profit

IRELAND - Over 1,500 dairy farmers visited an award winning dairy farm in Conna, County Cork on 8 September to learn how good management and excellent breeding can leave a profit margin.
calendar icon 11 September 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

The dairy event took place on the farm of Paddy O Leary, who is a member of the Blackwater Discussion group, the winners of the 2008 ACCBank Economic Breeding Index (EBI) Discussion Group Competition.

Speaking at the open day, Teagasc dairy programme leader Matt Ryan said that by working together, dairy farmers in this group have challenged each other to improve the breeding and grassland management on their individual farms and thereby increase the performance of their businesses.

He predicted that the average dairy farm nationally will lose money in 2009. However on the O’ Leary farm and other farms in the group, a small profit will be generated despite the dramatic drop in milk price in 2009, and this is down to better breeding, better utilisation of grazed grass and lower production costs.

Farmers attending the open day heard how on average members of the discussion group expect to spend 10.5 cent per litre on variable costs this year, with an additional 12.5 cent per litre on fixed costs and own labour. This leaves a small profit margin on these farms.

Speaking after the event Matt Ryan said: “Two clear messages were presented at the Open Day. Use high EBI AI to breed top quality heifers. Aim to rear 50 replacement heifers for every 100 cows. In doing this, you can increase your herd’s EBI by €10 per year. This will help you to remain profitable through difficult times as shown by our winning group”.

The EBI competition is sponsored by ACCBank and organised jointly by Teagasc, ICBF and the Farmers Journal. The competition rewards and promotes improved dairy cow breeding and fertility management among dairy discussion groups. These award winning farms are used to transfer the best technical and business knowledge to other dairy farms.

Farmers now have an opportunity to apply for the 2009 ACCBank EBI Discussion Group Competition. Eleven awards with a total prize fund of €42,000, including a top prize of €10,000 are there to be competed for. The closing date for this year competition is Monday, 28 September.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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