How to be a profitable grazier

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According to John Roche, associate professor of ruminant nutrition and farm systems, University of Tasmania in Australia, there is a huge opportunity for profitable grass-based dairying in the United States.

He recommends the following:

  • Focus on the returns. Maintaining a reasonable milk yield at a lower cost is profitable.
  • Learn from graziers in New Zealand and Australia, but then develop a system that works where you live.
  • Strive for high pasture production. Find the mix of grasses and legumes that delivers the best forages in an intensively managed system for your area.
  • Strive for high pasture utilization. Each additional 10 percent of grass in the diet decreases your cost of production by about $1.50 per hundredweight.
  • Spend your money wisely. Evaluate all expenditures.
  • Minimize any unnecessary fixed cost.
  • Simplify your management so that you can reduce overall labor cost.
  • Grow as much pasture as possible.
  • Utilize the pasture that you have grown. Use technology, like the grazing wedge, to help you know when grass needs to be harvested for hay (as opposed to grazed).


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