Dairy Farmers Must Stay Focussed

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), September 21, 2002 | Go to article overview

Dairy Farmers Must Stay Focussed


DAIRY farmers looking to maintain margins in the face of continued milk price volatility must develop a clear focus for the enterprise and then drive technical excellence from all aspects of management, according to Promar International.

Speaking at the European Dairy Farming Event at Stoneleigh, Promar national dairy consultant, Derek Gardner, urged farmers to set challenging targets.

"While a few years ago it was realistic to target performance at achieving the national average, very few people can afford to be average anymore. This is now exclusively the preserve of those with very low overheads, those who are prepared to adopt low standards of living or alternatively anyone who is prepared to contemplate stopping all reinvestment,'' he said.

"For those who are serious about a future in dairying it is not even enough to aim to hit the average of schemes such as Milkminder. Although these farms are generating around 70 per cent more margin than the national average through a combination of more cows, high yields and effective feed use, in many cases this is still not enough.''

Mr Gardner advises farmers to decide which system they wish to adopt and then really focus on driving up technical performance from the system.

"Higher yields are not necessarily the answer and for some may be entirely the wrong approach. …

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