Food Conversion Efficiency is often misunderstood and overlooked, despite its role in profitability.
Consultant nutritionist to animal feed producer SealesWinslow, James Hague says with the pressure of a lower payout this year, farmers are now on the hunt for strategies to cut costs.
But Hague says it’s all about finding the most effective and efficient way of turning feed into milk.
“As a part of Ballance Agri-Nutrients we are focussed on helping farmers with this process so they can achieve the best results for their farm.
“We have access to a range of tools which help us to compare a farmer’s potential milk production to their actual production, identify the gaps and then then come up with the approach for filling those gaps so that production and profitability are optimised.”
SealesWinslow have analysed over 500 herds using a milk prediction software programme, which compares a farm’s actual production to its target production to identify any deviations as the season progresses. They have found that the average farm could achieve an additional 30,000 kgMS based on their peak production.
The results are noteworthy, says Hague. “At a $5.00 payout, that’s an additional $150,000 worth of gross income.”
Any gains to be made are not just down to adding purchased feed into the mix. Ballance offers a full package, which includes maximising the benefits of home grown feed in combination with looking at where improvements could be made so that a balanced diet is on offer.
“There is a good amount of forage already grown on the farm that gets wasted. The waste isn’t underfoot, it’s within the cow. Some purchased feeds do little to improve the utilisation of grass and silage, so we look at balancing the diet to help extract as much feed value as possible from the whole diet.”
SealesWinslow offers a free vice to help farmers to crunch the numbers using their expertise and a range of different tools. To ensure that the diet is profitable the team looks closely at returns on dollars invested in feed. Margin is a key measure and needs to be sufficient to translate down to the bottom line and fit in with cash flow.
Farmers looking for help with balancing their herd’s feed supply with demand to maximise production and profitability can call the SealesWinslow team on 0800 287325.