Business Briefing Newsletter – November 2019

Welcome to the November  2019 edition of the Farm Consultancy Group Business Briefing Newsletter.   In this issue you will find articles on cross compliance derogation, dairy financial stability, soil analysis, behaviour in the milking parlour, Red Tractor dairy standards, converting to organic, heifer rearing  and much more.

 

Cross Compliance Derogation Deadline - Cari Beard (Chippenham)

SMR 1 – Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZ), outlines the Cross Compliance rules that must be followed by all farms inside the NVZ.

There is a limit of 170kg/ha of nitrogen in livestock manure that can be applied (directly by grazing livestock or by spreading) on your holding per calendar year.  This limit applies as an average across your holding and is sometimes referred to as the N-Loading.   Read more ...

Herd Management Opportunity with Profit Share – North Dorset

An exciting opportunity to enter a joint venture dairy farming agreement has arisen in North Dorset. The suitable person would initially manage the herd for one year, with the intention of taking on a formal share farming arrangement for a five-year period.  The farm owner is looking to hand over responsibility for the running of the dairy herd whilst sharing the farming profit going forward.  Read more ...

Dairy Company Financial Stability - Charles Holt (Lincoln)

The dairy world was rocked again recently with the announcement of the cessation of business of Tomlinson’s Dairy in Wrexham.  This dairy company took in milk from around 70 milk producers in north Wales & Cheshire, around half of whom were contracted to Sainsbury’s Dairy Development Group.

These producers are pressing hard on Sainsbury’s to pay them for the six weeks of milk that they will not receive payment for from Tomlinson’s.  Read more ...

 

Soil Analysis - Don’t Forget Texture and Organic Matter - William Waterfield (Andover)

To state the obvious, soils are the base of all we do as farmers, so it is somewhat surprising that only 30% of grassland soils are at optimum status for pH P and K.  Ensuring reliable soil analysis is important.

For most dairy farmers the window for soil analysis is quite short as fields should not have received slurry or FYM for at least 2 months prior to sampling and is representative of the whole field.  Read more ...

 

Happy Cows in Parlour? - Checking Cow Behaviour at Milking? - Mark Yearsley (Sherborne)

Heifers can often paddle around whilst being milked until they become used to the routine but what about your cows, do they become unsettled during milking? Cow behaviour during the milking routine is often put down as a temperament behavioural trait through breeding but this could be a smoke screen.  An incorrect milking routine is likely to be the underlying problem.  Read more ...

2018-19 FCG Cost of Production Report – Gerard Finnan (Sherborne)

Our annual joint FCG and Old Mill Accountants Cost of Production report is now available at https://bit.ly/2oiYAqH or you can request a copy from the office on Tel: 01935 850093.

The forecast figures for 2019-20 are showing a profit, which is expected to increase by 35% or 1.0ppl to 3.69ppl based on the following assumptions:

As part of this report on actual Wessex Region dairy farmers data analysed, we also forecast current year profits to March 2020 for the same dataset of farmers. Milk production costs are budgeted to decrease by 10% for the current year and will compensate for a 6% decrease in output costs (mostly milk price), resulting in a forecast increase in dairy profits which is needed.  Read more ...

 

Meeting the Red Tractor Dairy Standards- Emily Wynder (Sherborne)

Last month we had a look at getting the bulk tank room up to standard, this month we are looking at the parlour.

Parlour/Milk production areas:

• The parlour/milk production area must be kept clean, tidy and free from odours always.  All surfaces should we fully washable, with a dedicated hose available for cleaning all areas of the parlour.
• Doors should be kept shut when not in use and fully sealed when closed so that they are secure and vermin proof.

Read more ...

Farm Access - Charles Holt (Lincoln)

I have recently been involved in a case where a neighbour to a dairy farmer has lodged a complaint to the Council about him.  The reason for the complaint is that an access to the farm has been considerably widened and the access ‘improved’, all without planning permission.  The access is just beside the neighbour’s own driveway.  Farm traffic has much increased down the ‘improved’ farm road.  Read more ...

Converting to Organic, Make Sure Your Compliance Certificate is Correct - William Waterfield (Andover)

With the increasing interest from arable farmers converting to organic production, premiums for organic cereals have ranged from £120-£160 over the last 5 years.  Combined with the ability to sell an in conversion crop (one that has been harvested a year after the start of organic conversion) is attractive, as the price differential between in conversion and organic is often less than £20/tonne.  Read more ...

BPS 2020: Mapping Changes - Sophie Cahill (Sherborne)

Every year when we meet our clients to discuss their Basic Payment Scheme application, one of the first things we do is go through all the maps and check whether any require updating or changing.  This can create even more work at a very busy time, and often means that we are submitting the BPS application when mapping changes are still being processed by the RPA.

Everyone should now have access to their online RPA account and can check their maps at any time.  Read more ...

How Important is Air Flow to My Cows’ Health? - Andrew Jones (Sherborne)

A cow can lose 50 litres of water a day through her lungs, as mentioned in my May article on Cows & Water.  Other than her lungs, her skin also plays an important part in her sweating and therefore cooling.

Cows are happiest at 5-15°C.  Cows can cope in a temperature range from -25°C upwards but struggle with anything over 20°C.  At over 28°C you should consider sprinklers to aid cooling.  Read more ...

Lower Cost Heifer Rearing? – Tom Malleson (Sherborne)

I frequently hear figures quoted for the cost of rearing a heifer to the point of calving, ranging from £1,000 to £2,000.  I also frequently drive past fields of heifers set-stocked with not enough grass and a line of cake troughs near the gateway!

Well-managed rotational grazing, following the rules set out in my article earlier this year, will not only easily achieve target growth rates for heifers of all breeds, sizes and systems, but will slash rearing costs and significantly increase pasture output, replacing the expensive purchased dry matter.  Read more ...

Posted in Business Briefing.