Sustaining profitability with feed efficiency


Africa, one of the leading developing and emerging dairy markets is the major focus for future largescale
dairy production. These dairy markets are in a high-growth phase, which creates an opportunity for the industry to commit to supplying milk locally in a safe, sustainable and profitable way. This local production opportunity is the long-term solution to supplying milk to the growing population.

However, the rising cost of production and increased competition force producers to increase efficiency to sustain profitability. Improving feed efficiency (FE) (conversion of feed to milk) by only a single increment (1,4 to 1,5) has a significant effect on profitability. Feed efficiency in a dairy cow is a complex process owing to the many factors affecting energy use, such as maintenance, milk production, growth, pregnancy/stage of lactation etc. However, it remains an increasingly important production measure to refine dairy management. To evaluate feed efficiency effectively it must be standardised for changes in milk components, body condition, environmental factors and walking distance/exercise.

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Jackie Tucker is the commercial executive at Chemuniqué

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