The dairy industry just cannot seem to win these days. After five years of depressed prices and then a few months of financial relief, Covid-19 hits the world. Over the last three months, milk prices have fallen right back to where they had been for the previous five years.
The dairy producers that remain in business are already masters of frugal financial ingenuity. What are the key segments they need to analyze to make it through this next financial disaster?
The answers are feed rations, biofilm and contamination, mastitis, and payment sample management.
Feed commodities are expensive and need to be used in the exact rations to guarantee a return on investment. Over-feeding of expensive commodities which a producer either does not get paid for, or has a high rate of intake, but low output in milk needs to be analyzed. If producers are finding the cost of input versus production is low, they are wasting money that could be better used in one hundred other ways to sustain their farms.
Biofilm and system contamination is the reoccurring headache that dairy producers are continually battling. Microbiologically speaking, dairy milk is the perfect growth media for bacteria. Milk is nutrient-packed with protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. If the milking system is not cleaned correctly or there is a contamination site along the path, bacteria will settle in to create a biofilm that will be nearly impossible to remove. This biofilm will taint the milk sample, which can severely jeopardize the producer’s livelihood. Producers will start losing quality premiums and could eventually be dismissed from their milk marketing cooperative.
Mastitis accounts for a five to ten percent overall loss of yield on any given dairy farm. Catching mastitis while it is sub-clinical not only dramatically drops the time a cow is in the hospital pen, but also saves on valuable pharmaceuticals like antibiotics. Pen sampling the herd on a weekly basis is an extremely inexpensive way of monitoring herd health and maximizing financial returns.
The payment sample that comes off the farm is liquid gold in a two-ounce vial. It represents not only the endless hours of work the producers invest, but also the sacrifices they make to produce a premium product. If the sample itself is tainted, by inadequate sampling and handling practices, by inadvertent tool contamination, or by human error, it can have severe ramifications for the producer. Further, raw milk inherently stratifies; thus, agitation is a continual issue, which the current Pastured Milk Ordinances do little to address. Your payment needs to be based on representative sampling to ensure that you are fairly compensated.
Producers need a tool that can help them achieve all four of these tasks in one complete system. At QualiTru Sampling Systems, we have a 4 in 1 Solution that will help farmers gain full control over these issue areas. View 4 Components 4 Applications brochure
Contact your co-op representative to discuss the perfect tool that all farms need, now more than ever.