What Drives Dairy Farm Profitability?
If nothing else, the extreme pressures facing the Dairy Farming Industry, have highlighted the need for dairy farmers to maintain a focus on what drives the profitability of their business.
For the vast majority of Dairy Farms profitability is driven by total litres of milk produced from the farm as a whole, and in particular from yield per cow.
Cow yields are determined by sound nutrition, technical efficiency and attention to detail. Faced with the every day pressure of work as well as limitations of cash flow it is important to not lose sight of these facts.
In times of crisis, spending more time managing the business as well as investing in sound nutrition can often be the most cost effective way to increase profitability.
The Need for Change:
Many Dairy Farms throughout the UK are re-evaluating their traditional approach to feeding and also the way in which they source both their animal feed inputs and their nutritional advice. Increasing we see an increased reliance on total mixed rations as farmers adopt more flexible feeding systems in a bid to increase milk output and reduce labour and other fixed costs per litre. As the range and complexity of nutrition inputs available increases along with genetic merit and milk yield of modern cows the need for better nutrition advice increases dramatically. Yet both the quality and the quantity of specialised nutrition advice available from traditional sources is fast drying up as feed manufacturers restructure and rationalise.
High quality nutrition advice from people with practical experience and a regular on farm presence is fast becoming a rare commodity. Few dairy farmers these days have the time or the nutritional expertise to thoroughly evaluate the vast array of inputs available in order to make sound informed buying decisions. Ill informed buying decisions can seriously impact on a farms profitability. Far better to rely on a specialist independent supplier to source feed and other inputs as part of a full nutrition package.
Ask your self, is your dairy feed advisor, nutrition consultant, farm adviser or feed supplier providing you with the tools, inputs and expertise to grow your business and increase your overall dairy farm profitability? In many cases the answer is no.
Perhaps this explains the success of RWN since the launch of the business in 2001. Many farmers are increasingly recognising the advantages that come from sourcing all their feed inputs through an independent nutrition supply company such as RWN.
Richard Webster Nutrition:
Our focus is on increasing milk yields and profitability of our customers by the use of sound nutrition. One of our main roles is in evaluating and sourcing the best products to maximise the farmers profitability. We have access to a very wide range of products from a large number of manufacturers. We will only sell products which we believe to be in our customers best interest. This is in complete contrast to the salesman who works for a manufacturer. Ultimately his job depends on him selling the manufacturers own products and keeping his employers, mill full at all costs.
RWN supplies a full range of well researched, proven, quality animal feed inputs sourced from a wide range of suppliers at competitive prices. Our nutritional expertise is free of charge to our customers. Having the best products for the situation fed in the most appropriate combination to give the best return to the farmer, is infinitely better than having the wrong products fed incorrectly, even if they were cheap.
A lot has been said about improving supply chain efficiency within agriculture. This applies as much to supplies of inputs to farms as it does to supply of milk and meat from farm to consumers. Having worked in the feed trade for over 25 years my firm belief is that it is much more efficient and cost effective for manufacturers to supply their products to farmers via one independent merchant such as RWN, than for each to supply through their own sales force with nutrition advice coming from an outside source at an additional cost to the farmer.
Milk output is still the major factor in determining the profitability of most dairy farms. Investing in sound nutrition now to increase future milk yields will take full advantage of improved milk prices when they come, which they will. Now is an ideal time to review your long-term future feeding strategy.
Whilst supply through the Independent Agricultural Merchant has many advantages, conscious that scale and diversity also have advantages, shortly after the formation of Richard Webster Nutrition, we and a number of other Independents formed FIAM, the Federation of Independent Agriculture Merchants.
We believe that our independence from the major feed companies is vitally important to our customers.
FIAM members have all the benefits of a large organization as well as all the advantages of independence. Members are able to share resources in a number of areas such as product development or researching and evaluating new products. Although all the individual businesses within FIAM are independently owned and operate completely independently from each other, there is within FIAM a vast range of both nutritional expertise and experience. One of FIAM's main strengths is the ability to forge relationships with key manufacturers.
This ensures that FIAM members have access to the most effective and the most competitively priced products in the market place. More information about FIAM can be obtained from www.fiam.org.uk.
For more information or an in depth consultation contact Richard Webster