Think value not price​​ | UFAC UK

Think value not price​​

Published 1 March 2016 Back to News
UFAC-UK Sales Manager Mike Chown believes farmers need to change the way they assess how they select feed inputs this spring.

Think value not price​​

UFAC-UK Sales Manager Mike Chown believes farmers need to change the way they assess how they select feed inputs this spring.

I have spoken to a great many dairy farmers in the last three months and without exception the discussion turns to reducing feed costs and producing milk more cost effectively.

My response is to say the way to do this is not to think price, but to think value. Rather than saying ‘I can save x pence if I cut something out’, ask yourself ‘What return will I get if I spend x pence, or how much do I risk losing if I cut something out and will the saving exceed the potential loss?’

When milk prices are low and margins tight, the emphasis has to be on feeding cows as well as we can so they can perform to their optimum, not cutting corners and hoping they will perform OK.

As farmers look to turn cows out, which can undoubtedly help reduce costs, we need to focus on what we want the cows to do to give us the best return. Think about what you are asking your cows to do and make sure you feed them accordingly.

You want them to milk in a way that maximises the price achieved from your contract, a combination of good milk quality and hitting the profile. You also need to increase the prospects of keeping them on profile in the future which means getting back in calf. You want them to graze efficiently, maximising grazing hours and dry matter intakes which requires good foot health.

Will you do this by cutting feed costs and feeding cheap feeds? I doubt it. The chances of achieving this level of performance will come from feeding the right feeds for your situation and working on return on investment not price.

Fats are a good example. It you feed on the cheap, you won’t feed fats. If you feed for a return then the right fats have an essential place in diets especially as cows go to grass when maintaining milk quality, fertility and mobility can be a challenge.

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