The Weekly Dairy Report: Cows begin milking in the north as too much of last years product is unsold

July weather continues to put pressure on feed as managers carefully ration supplies as they plan toward calving, but lower than average soil temperatures slow growth on saved calving pastures.

Whilst many are locked into this years feeding systems, advisers suggest feed should be no more than 5% of total farm costs as budgets and stocking rates are meticulously reviewed, and the price of feed grains and pke are falling steadily.

Northern herds have plenty of calves on the ground now as their season starts, but will be very concerned of reports of last years dairy commodity stocks carried over, both here in NZ and powder stockpiles in China.

Many are having to supplement milking cows with palm kernel, maize, and silage to maximise production, but most are planning to grow their own feed this year, and have reduced stocking rates to achieve this.

Last weeks auction result was described as disastrous on another 10% fall, driven by an even bigger drop for whole milk powder, and the ANZ dropped its forecast to $3.75-$4.00/kg ms, and the BNZ to $3.80.

Open Country Cheese also reacted pessimistically with a $3.65-$3.95 figure that illustrates just how far the fall has gone.

The currency did fall on the back of this poor auction, and economists predict further falls in interest rates, as more debt may be the only solution in the short term.

All eyes will be on Fonterra’s 7th August announcement of the advanced rate which will show the markets true position, and determine the extent of the overdraft pressures for the coming season.

Dairy farmers are being urged to use beef genes for non breeding cows to cash in on strong demand for beef, and increase returns from this byproduct of milking.