15- Measures of Competitiveness

Ernest Oelker, Agriculture Agent

This month: Total feed costs per hundredweight (cwt.) of milk sold

Competitive Level: Less than $6.00 per cwt. of milk sold 
(May range from below $5.00 to around $8.00, depending on feed prices)

Calculation: Total cost of all feeds fed to all dairy cows and replacement heifers 
? total cwt. of milk sold for the same period

Total feed cost per cwt. of milk sold measures the effectiveness of management in controlling the largest cost items in producing milk. You should carefully calculate the total cost of producing home grown feeds, including interest and taxes on real estate and depreciation on machinery and storage facilities. Compare this figure to market values to see if your crop production costs are reasonable. Many dairy farmers can purchase feed more cheaply than they can grow it.

If feed cost is above $6.00 per cwt. of milk sold:

Evaluate feed quality, feed production costs, and purchased feed costs. Frequently balance rations for all groups based on current feed analyses. Feed for high production if cows have the genetic potential. If cows do not reach their potential, evaluate facilities.

Keep dry periods below 60 days. Keep culling rates below 25 percent. Keep age at first calving below 24 months. Consider using BST.