Top tips for reducing milk production

Friday, 10 April 2020

There are many different areas to consider when looking at options to lower milk production

With many dairy farms experiencing challenges due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we've pulled together our top tips to help mange through the current climate and may also help farmers who are looking to reduce operating costs.

Top tips for managing and feeding dairy cows:

  1. Discuss with your nutritionist and vet the possibility to change feeding strategies to reduce milk production without compromising health
  2. Do not restrict water intake
  3. Be careful of mineral and mineral balance if reformulating diets
  4. Dry cows off early – beware of unintended consequence of body condition on subsequent calving. Read our guide to drying cows off early
  5. Reduce milking frequency where possible, using a partial budget and the milk forecasting calculator to understand the impact of this to your income
  6. Incomplete milking may also be an option i.e. leaving 30% of milk in the udder could help reduce milk production and may be positive for cows in the first 5 days of lactation
  7. If you have access to abattoirs think about bringing culling forward
  8. Sell calves you don’t intend to keep as replacements or to rear for beef
  9. Turn cows out to graze to reduce cost of production
  10. Turn youngstock out – to reduce feed, labour and bedding
  11. Feed whole milk instead of powder to calves – ensure milk from Johne’s cows is not fed to calves
  12. Consider postponing weaning when feeding whole milk
  13. Continue to give fresh cows best care
  14. Review our guidance about milk disposal
  15. Re-forecast your milk production using our milk forecasting calculator
  16. Consider the impact of lowered production on your cash flow

Options for trimming farm costs

Whatever your situation there is social support available whether that's from your staff, family, friends or AHDB Knowledge Exchange Manager. Please keep ‘attending’ your discussions groups, we've moved many to online platforms as we know how important social contact and support is during this difficult time.



Things to cover in a 'light' business plan for borrowing applications or payment holidays: