On September 7, 2017 MYMP directors and other young dairy farmers gathered for a social evening and an opportunity to learn about the nutritional side of dairy farming. The event was held at the Quality Hotel in Abbotsford and started with a make your own ice-cream sundae bar sponsored by TNT Hay and Cattle Sales. A great way to really sweeten things up!
Karen Taylor from TD Canada Trust spoke about the financial side of nutrition. She focused on three main financial areas in her presentation; feed costs, interest rates, and financial ratios. She randomly selected twelve dairy farms to analyze their feed costs. The average quota production was 300 kg. On average, feed costs for those farms were 28.3% of milk sales and the average feed cost per kg of production quota was $5.57. She then looked at the impacts of increased interest rates have on farm debt and loan repayments. For an average sized farm of 140 milking cows and 160 kg of DCQ with five million dollars of debt a one percent change in interest from 2.6% to 3.6% would result in an increase of loan payments of $2,600 per month. She finished her presentation with a look at ratios and their implications on the financial strength of a dairy farm. She closed with encouraging producers to talk to their bankers and to remember that your banker is your partner.
The second speaker was Brittney Schurmann from Hi-Pro Feeds. Brittney focused on nutrition for lactating dairy cows. She covered six main topic areas: an overview of feed ingredients, farm goals,
example rations and feed cost analyses, 2017 forage challenges, RFV versus RFQ, and feeding management and nutritional strategies to increase milk fat. Feed ingredients include both home grown and purchased feed and essential and optional components. She explained that farm goals will affect feed choices. This was followed by detailed examples of rations for both parlour and robotic systems including both ration specs, herd stats and economics. She acknowledged that 2017 was a tough forage year due to the weather and the western corn rootworm and army worm. She recommended producers talk to their crop specialists to maximize forage quality and land use. She finished with tips on how to maximize milk fat. Similar to Karen’s final comments, and like bankers, Brittney reminded the crowd that feed experts are your partners.
Over all, a great evening on the nutritional side of dairy farming. An interesting look into the economic and technical aspects of feed and how feed and nutrition are important to the long term health of the herd and the farm.
The MYMP would like to thank TNT Hay and Cattle Sales, TD Canada Trust and Hi-Pro Feeds for their generous sponsorship of this event. MYMP would not be able to hold these events without their support.