/Produce Your Own On-Farm Dairy Feed to Leverage Rising Inflation Adjusted Production Costs

Produce Your Own On-Farm Dairy Feed to Leverage Rising Inflation Adjusted Production Costs

Dairy farmers should produce their own dairy feed to help reduce the ever-rising cost of production of dairy feed in the drier months and help increase milk production in the country.

Speaking to the AgroSeason, dairy farmer, Mrs. Ruth Msipa, of Cheshire Farm, said that , dairy production has become unsustainable as the high cost of feed is daily eating into their margins and profitability and she has managed to survive by cross-financing dairy with her better performing garlic project.

Mrs. Msipa said that it now costs 800 local dollars to feed one dairy cow per day using commercial feed but the returns are not justifying the costs, where dairy processors are paying them in local currency despite the fact that most of their inputs are paid for in foreign currency.

The farmer added that milk production has significantly gone down due to the drought that affected on-farm hay and silage production such that many farmers are relying on imported commercial feed to sustain their projects.

Mrs. Mspia produces 100 litres a day from 13 milking cows and added that this could treble if she had green grazing and better silage. She manages a herd of 50 made up of 13 milking cows, 12 dry cows, 5 breeding heifers, 2 heifer weaners, 2 bull calves, 6 in-calf heifers and other beef cows.

Mrs. Msipa said that the biggest blow to the dairy sector in the country has been the decision by governing to scrap payment for milk in part foreign currency and part local currency as that used to cushion farmers significantly from the debilitating effects of the hyperinflation the country is in.

By Francis Bingandadi Managing Editor AgroSeason