The most recent Calne Dairy Discussion Group meeting focussed on the financial benchmarking of 12 Calne Dairy Discussion Group members and was run by Max Sealy & Ricky Haines (Old Mill). Herds ranged from fully housed TMR fed farms to simpler compound and grazing herds, with many farmers on a Cadburys milk contract. Old Mill and FCG combined clients to compare data against the Calne Dairy Discussion Group.
Milk price averaged at 26.85ppl, although some farms were as low as 17.7ppl and others as high as 31.65ppl.
There were 1,550 more litres per cow produced, 24% larger herd size and 1.14pence higher milk price between the two data sets. However, when you excluded rent and finance there was a 3.2 pence increase in cost of production between the two, with 90% coming from higher purchased feed costs.
The herds which excelled saw good milk from forage, with a few herds producing around 8,500 litres per cow at 3,000 litres from forage, however most herds were well above the 30ppl cost of production. The largest herd in the group did see some benefits from reduced labour costs, economies of scale (especially regarding feed purchases); lower veterinary costs, lower power and machinery costs and lower depreciation and leasing costs.
When you look at both sets of data it does suggest a smaller family farm with less mechanisation, but as discussed above, the key difference was the litres produced per cow and the feed cost per litre to achieve this level of production.
If you would like to join a discussion group, including the Calne Dairy Discussion Group, then please contact Wesley Habershon at firstname.lastname@example.org or your local FCG Office.