• Cynthia Northcote

Is Your Season to be Full Cream or Skinny?


Last Saturday dawned fine and sunny in Taranaki, calving was underway and all was well with the world. Or was it? In the space of a 10km drive, I witnessed a downer cow, vets attending to a beef cow calving and I heard a farmer’s story of assisting a slow calving heifer. No farmer wants calving to be this way.

If I said to you that these conditions were preventable, would you believe me?

These animals are already compromised for this season and the cost is into the thousands. Our research into industry losses reveals figures that are sobering. At a loss of $500/cow for a metabolic incident, a 400 cow herd with 5% metabolic rate will be looking at a $10,000 cost in lost opportunity. Add in some lameness, mastitis and a grumbling empty rate, and costs creep quickly into the tens of thousands of dollars.

These numbers are invisible on your balance sheet. Described as opportunity cost this is ‘the benefit you could have received by taking an alternative action’.

We believe these losses are manageable, preventable and there is potential to make additional income that is currently being ‘left on the table’. It’s important to remember this opportunity is independent of payout, so in this tough environment where the outlook is determined by market forces, there’s still plenty of gains to be made on farm. Payout can fluctuate but recovering the cost of losses is still completely within your control.

What's your lost opportunity cost?

In the table above the farmer has $150 000 of unrealised income due to animal performance issues. From our experience working with clients throughout NZ, we can set a realistic target of $50 000 of extra income by applying the Mineral Systems programme.

If this farm shows a potential ROI of 1:5 what then would be the ROI for the farmers with calving problems I witnessed last Saturday?

It’s not too late to take action now to reduce losses through calving. If you want to ensure your season’s profit is full cream not skinny – give us a call today on 0800 765 854.

#Calving #Lostopportunitycost #Returnoninvestment #ReproductivePerformance

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