Dairy farm productivity poor
Dairy farm productivity declined 0.5 per cent a year between 2000 and 2010 because of increasing input costs, DairyNZ productivity development team leader Rob Brazendale said.
‘‘The industry is not performing that well in terms of productivity.’’
In the last year, production costs in New Zealand’s dairy industry had risen above the costs in the Australian industry, Brazendale said.
‘‘More feed grown on farm will increase our competitive position if it’s done properly. We have to improve our competitiveness by improving our performance on farm.’’
Better dairy pasture would raise the industry’s productivity, because it would put more feed into milk production. Cropping was one way to achieve that. ‘‘You get better pasture renewal through cropping and the quality of the pasture affects the profit per hectare.’’
Studies show having about 12 per cent of a dairy farm in crop produced the best result, which was also highly dependent on crop yield, management and minimal wastage.
It was crucial not to let the growth of the crop compromise the new pasture. Critical factors were the right crop, yield, timing and use. Having feed on hand during the first year of crop-growing was also important, he said.