'Dairy farmers could see profits jump by 40% - if they're prepared to act'
Any dairy farmer offered a 40pc boost in his income, would likely pinch himself to ensure that it was not a dream, and then ponder "where is the catch?" that every producer in the country hasn't copped on to it.
Boosting return by an additional €860/ha by increasing the profit per cow by €950 per annum, which would be a "massive difference" on any dairy farm, is a reality that can be attained, and is there to be tapped into, according to one of the most progressive dairymen in the south of the country.
West Cork-based dairy farmer, Michael Murphy, is a partner in a large commercial dairy farm in Ireland and is a director of substantial dairy farming businesses in New Zealand and the USA who, for the past 45 years, has been a strong practitioner and proponent of grass based milk production and co-founder and director of the Positive Farmers Annual Conference which is now attracting a 'sell out' of in excess of 500 places with many travelling from abroad, in particular the UK each year.
His message to the recent conference was that turbo charging profits from dairy farming in Ireland is possible for many of the country's progressive dairymen provided that they are open to change the breed of dairy animals in their herds and the grass mix in the pasture.
He pointed out that reliable Teagasc research has now mapped the path to an increase of up to 41pc in profit on the top dairy farms by introducing cross breeding into the herd and clover into the sward.
The difference is that a Holstein-Friesian cow profit margin of €2,090 can be turbo boosted to €2,950 when animals crossed with Jersey are introduced and grass + clover sward is fed, increasing profit margin per hectare by €860.
Michael Murphy described it as "potentially a big breakthrough in dairy farm profits", if farmers are prepared to act.
"There is a massive difference to be achieved, which can add to our competitive advantage, but only if we act on it"