Feed costs soar as hot summer dries up grass

by 5m Editor
16 August 2006, at 11:48am

UK - Livestock farmers in many areas of the country face massive cost increases after record July heat claimed most of the summer grass.

Dairy and sheep farmers appear to be worst hit, with many milk producers buffer-feeding next winter's rations and sheep losing condition rapidly.

Unless the next few weeks brought enough rain to encourage grass growth, the situation would become acute, warned Jonathan Ovens, chairman of the Arla Foods Milk Partnership.

"About 50% of our members are feeding winter forage.

Unless the situation changes quickly, this could easily add 1p/litre to dairy farmers' variable costs."

On a 170-cow unit producing 1m litres a year, that meant an extra 10,000, or 80 a cow, in feed costs, Mr Ovens said.

Source: FWi

5m Editor