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Brian Lang, OMAFRA, Woodstock Bill Grexton, CanWest DHI, Guelph The Cost of Raising Replacement Dairy Heifers.

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Presentation on theme: "Brian Lang, OMAFRA, Woodstock Bill Grexton, CanWest DHI, Guelph The Cost of Raising Replacement Dairy Heifers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Brian Lang, OMAFRA, Woodstock Bill Grexton, CanWest DHI, Guelph The Cost of Raising Replacement Dairy Heifers

2 Average Age at First Calving with 20 and 80 Percentiles The average age at first calving in Ontario has remained between 26.6 and 27.0 months

3 63% of heifers 41% of heifers calved at 27 months of age or older Age at First Calving CanWest DHI (212,435 heifers)

4 Comparison of Age at First Calving and Productive Life Heifers calving at months have the longest herd life CanWest DHI Productive life in a dairy herd is similar across all ages with a range of less than 4 months

5 Age at First Calving and Lifetime Milk Production Highest lifetime production is from heifers calving at 23 to 25 months of age CanWest DHI

6 Heifers required to supply replacements for 100-cow herd 15% allowance for culling, non-breeders and death loss

7 Replacements Required If calving interval is 14 months for both farms and 15% allowance for culling  Farm 1 has 12 heifers to sell each year  Farm 2 must buy 5 heifers each year

8 Wisconsin 2007 (US$) Preweaned (n=40) Wean to Calving (n=44) Total Feed $ Labour $ Other variable $ Fixed Costs $ $3261,3231,649 Ave. weaning age 7 weeks; age at first calving 24.1 months

9 The effect of body weight and age on costs of raising one heifer in Wisconsin Approximate Total Cost $/head/day Weight (lbs) Age (months) Preweaned , , , Zwald et al, 2007 Preweaned calves have the highest daily cost. After weaning, costs are fairly flat until breeding then rise again in late pregnancy.

10 Tie Stall vs. Free Stall - Wisconsin Tie Stall Free stall Preweaned cost Wean to calvingcost 1,416 1,362 Total$ US ,677 Zwald et al, 2007

11 Tie Stall vs. Free Stall – Wisconsin 2007 Tie Stall Free stall Preweaned Wean to calving Total $ Biggest expense difference was labour Labour ( ave hours) 27.7 hr 17.7 hr paid $ unpaid $ $

12 New York 2007 Feed 885 Labour 234 Bedding 63 Health 40 Breeding 47 Mach. & Building Operating Expenses 60 Deprec/Taxes/Insur 150 Manure Spreading & Storage 57 Interest 137 Other Expenses 61 Total $ US farms ave. 865 heifers 22.9 first calving 18.2 hrs. labour/heifer

13 Age at First Calving and Net Farm Income Ontario 2006 Age at First Calving Net Farm Income / Cow Lowest $ 1,571 Middle $ 1,440 Highest $ 1,283 All $ 1,431 $288 difference 105 Ontario Dairy Farms - OFMAP 2006

14 Ontario Dairy Farm Analysis Project 2010 Purchased Feed$275 Crop Production Input Costs127 Vet, Medicine & Breeding109 Other Animal Costs133 Building & Land Repair & Maint. 183 Machinery & Equip Repair & Maint. 99 Fuel and Lubricants 78 Custom Work 81 Property Tax & Insurance 85 Hydro & Telephone 23 Hired Labour 73 Other Cash Expenses 49 Interest167 Total Cash Costs$ 1,483

15 Ontario Dairy Farm Analysis Project 2010 Total Cash Costs$ 1,483 Machinery/Building Depreciation 121 Unpaid Labour & Management (30.4 $12.00 $17.00($517) $26.60($809) TotalCost to Raise Replacement $2,252

16 Hours of Labour to Required to Raise a Heifer from Birth to Calving Ontario Dairy Farm Accounting Project In recent years, the labour required to raise a heifer has ranged from 35 to 48 hours (includes family and employee labour)

17  Replacement Costs 2010  46 farms, averaged 218 cows, 9,681 kg  11% of milk revenue  Range 9-13% (25 to 75 percentile range)  Average cost $900 / per 12 months ~ $1,995/heifer + interest and depreciation costs Profit Profiler

18  COP of heifer may not be the best indicator of success  1 st Lactation Production compared to herd average is needed to see other side  Most herds = 89%  Range % (25 to 75 percentile range)  Some herds as low as 80% = program is not working  You need a good indicator to know if your heifer program is working How to Measure Impact

19 Impact of Calving  2 groups of herds based on 1 st Calving (24 and 28 mo)  Low Age Group …  Produced 1400 kg milk more per cow ($885) with higher % margin  Spent.9% of milk cheque LESS to raise a heifer  Spent $14 more per heifer per year but…  Spent $281 LESS overall to bring heifer into milking line  1 st lactation production was 1,170 kg higher  Good overall management dictates that in addition to getting economical high milk production, you need to get higher production heifers into the milking line sooner - it can be done!

20 Summary $2,000 - $2,500 average cost to raise a replacement heifer  Remember overhead costs  Unpaid labour  Plus value of calf

21 Summary  Herds that calve earlier get higher 1 st lactation and lifetime production  There is a wide range of costs between farms to raise heifers.  There is no advantage to delaying the age to 1st calving.  Herds with good management can raise heifers which perform better than those who do not.  Herds that combine good management with wise cost of production decisions not only have good results but also add considerably the overall profit of the business.  The difference in cost can be in excess of $25,000 per year for the heifer program and $60,000 in the overall farm profit for a herd size of 100 cows.

22 Thank you


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