Is it critical, necessary and/or benefi cial?

It is common practice in tough times for dairy farmers to reduce or stop supplementary feeding to their cows, remove some or all additives and reduce or stop applying fertilisers to ‘save’ cost. While this may seem to reduce the cheque written out, it may actually be more costly from an economic point of view.

If feeding your cows 5kg of supplementary feed is necessary and bene cial in good times, possibly because of their genetic requirements, then it maybe more critical to maintain this feeding regime, even in tough times. Likewise, if an additive is necessary and bene cial in good times, maybe it is more than necessary to keep feeding it when things are tight. A cow still needs to meet her nutritional requirements to continue to produce; otherwise she may lose production and in some cases lead to other problems which are more costly.

According to a leading expert (Dr Mike Hutjens from University of Illinois, USA), the opportunity cost of “not feeding” can be enormous. The same principle applies to fertilizer application and growing of grass.

Before taking any drastic actions, consider seriously the following.

• Is it necessary or critical?

• Is it beneficial?

• I do not have other profi table options for same benefits

If your answers are ‘yes’, then it may be worth continuing with your current feeding and fertiliser practices even in tough times.

Contact your CopRice Sales and Nutrition staff on 1800 COPRICE for any assistance.