UK group plays up cow feed milk-cost improvements

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European dairy farmers, Milk, Cattle, Dairy farming

As the dairy industry continues to offset the impact of higher milk pricing on its operations, one UK farmers association has launched a new campaign it claims can help cut production costs by up to two pence per litre (ppl).

Through DairyCo’s feeding+ campaign, from the end of this month, the group hopes to work with farmers and manufacturers across the UK in a bid provide more efficient feeding and nutrition in dairy livestock.

Euro cost fears

Concerns continue to grow among European dairy farmers over their welfare as production costs continue to rise due to global supply issues and European agricultural reforms.

According to some farmers’ groups, these measures have served only to exacerbate the high cost of milk production, with the European Milk Board calling earlier this year for farmers to be part of a new system of price-fixing in Europe.

Amidst concerns from stakeholders accross the dairy industry, an economics team from DairyCo claims to have analysed every cost linked to the production of a litre of milk in the UK.

Through this analysis, the team said that there was a marked difference in the feeding costs of the most and least efficient farmer, reflecting potentially significant savings for a number of producers.

The associations says that it now hopes to encourage both standalone farmers, and larger cooperatives to support the campaign that has been designed by four DairyCo nutrition specialists.

Environmental issues

A DairyCo spokesperson told DairyReporter.com that, while dairy farming has come under attacks in some circles due to the detrimental environmental affects of methane produced by livestock, costs will remain the key focus of the trial.

“{The campaign] won’t be focusing specifically on green/methane issues,”​ the spokesperson stated. “However, we focus on improving Feed Conversion Efficiency - more milk of the right quality from the same cows and the same (or even less) feed - which is better for the environment.”

Adam clay, extension officer and feeding specialist at DairyCo said the program could help farmers of all sizes across the UK-industry to cut down on their input costs.

“We want to engage with as many dairy farmers as possible with the aim of helping them achieve a real and significant improvement in their feed efficiency by the end of the campaign,”​ he stated.

As an organisation funded by UK dairy farmer levy payers, DairyCo said it had no current plans to work with farmers outside of the UK over the campaign.

Launch meetings

Starting from this month, 11 launch meetings have been planed for across the country. They will be located at:

  • 23 September, Meikle Camoquhill Farm, Balfon, Glasgow G63 0QW
  • 24 September, Peastree Farm, Durbar, Carlisle CA5 7LJ
  • 25 September, Lodge Farm, Myerscough College, Bilsborrow, Lancashire
  • 2 October, Washfold Farm, Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 5JZ
  • 8 October, Spond Farm, Alton, Staffordshire ST10 4BE
  • 14 October, Trenithon Chancellor, Probus, Truro, Cornwall TR2 4HQ
  • 15 October, Lye Cross Farm, Redhill, North Somerset BS40 5RH
  • 22 October, Kings Worthy, Winchester, Hampshire SO21 1AB
  • 28 October, Oakey Farm, Moreton Valence, Gloucestershire GL2 7NF
  • 29 October, Wood Park Farm, (Liverpool University) Chester High Road, Neston, Wirral CH64 7TB
  • 30 October, Pelcomb Farm, Pelcomb Bridge, Haverford West, Pembrokshire SA62 6EA

Related topics: Manufacturers, Fresh Milk

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