Feed prices pile on pressure

09 Nov, 2018 11:14 AM
Comments
0
 
BOTTOM LINE: Mount Torrens, SA, dairy farmer Rick Gladigau said stress about feed availability encouraged him to drop his herd by about 10pc.
It’s a bit of a gamble about how much of the herd to carry through and how much feed we have.
BOTTOM LINE: Mount Torrens, SA, dairy farmer Rick Gladigau said stress about feed availability encouraged him to drop his herd by about 10pc.

FEED costs have risen to “stupid” prices in recent months, creating increased stress to the bottom line of Adelaide Hills, SA, dairy farmer Rick Gladigau.

“Feed costs have never been so high in my life, even during the millennium drought, they were not this high,” he said.

“The cost of feed almost starts to make electricity seem cheap.”

Mr Gladigau said autumn rain and feed growth had been minimal at Mount Torrens, SA, leaving him handfeeding through winter.

“The past 12 months have been the driest in my memory,” he said.

“By September I was really concerned about where we were going to be.

“At that stage, there was maybe one month of feed and I thought we’d be handfeeding again by October.”

Mr Gladigau said rain in September helped ease some pressure, but he expected to be feeding again this month.

In August, despite starting the season with excess hay, feed availability and cost concerns lead Mr Gladigau to cull his older dairy cows and some beef cattle.

He cut numbers about 10 per cent.

If conditions do not improve, he will need to cull again.

“It’s a bit of a gamble about how much of the herd to carry through and how much feed we have,” he said.

“If someone is charging $140 for a round bale and I use five in a day, it gets expensive and there is not a return on that.”

He has also begun irrigating earlier than before, to try and minimise risks.

As well as the rising hay costs, he is also concerned about the availability and price of grain in coming months with so much of the state’s crop cut for fodder.

Mr Gladigau supplies milk to Adelaide Hills cheesemaker Udder Delights at a "good price” and says in a year like this, he is grateful for that buffer.

“Had I been on the standard exporters' price, I’m not sure I’d still be milking cows,” he said.

StockJournal

POST A COMMENT


Screen name *
Email address *
Remember me?
Comment *
 
Best management practice of ryegrass and managing the residual height throughout dry periods is critical to enhance persistence of pasture. 
26 Dec 18 Best management practice of ryegrass and managing the residual height throughout dry periods is critical to enhance...
A new definition of 'genetically modified' currently awaiting parliamentary approval could see a swathe of new grasses on the market within three years.
13 Nov 18 A new definition of "genetically modified" currently awaiting parliamentary approval could see a swathe of new...
light grey arrow
The processors have not got used to the idea that the supermarkets have 'disrupted' their
light grey arrow
This why if you own and control the selling platform in a free and supposedly open market, You
light grey arrow
What I find confusion and strange is that the NEW AUSTRALIAN DAIRY PLAN has not got any form or
Spending $2.7million to build a new dairy is part of a rolling upgrade and improvement plan for VAN Dairy Group, located at Cape Grim, Tasmania.29 Dec 18 Spending $2.7million to build a new dairy is part of a rolling upgrade and improvement plan for VAN Dairy Group,...
Australian Dairyfarmer's Jeanette Severs checked out the range of new and interesting products and services on show at the South Gippsland Dairy Expo in September, while Peter Roach caught up with suppliers at the Elmore Field Days in October.02 Dec 18 Australian Dairyfarmer's Jeanette Severs checked out the range of new and interesting products and services on show...
Australian farm chemical manufacturer Nufarm has repaired its balance sheet and is now hunting for acquisition opportunities.25 Sep 16 Australian farm chemical manufacturer Nufarm has repaired its balance sheet and is now hunting for acquisition...
Monopoly market may confront cropping sector under mega-merger proposal.22 Sep 16 Monopoly market may confront cropping sector under mega-merger proposal.