Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Milk price up, milk production down

After a pretty bad stretch for mailbox milk prices in 2006, this year's milk price has been improving. The bad news, of course, is that we've had to buy a lot of feed and it ain't been cheap, so our bottom line hasn't improved all that much. Now, feed prices are starting to back off a little (corn anyway...cotton seed and cotton hulls are going to be terrible) and the Class I milk price continues to inch forward. Problem now is that our herd's lactation curve is getting extended on out (avg. DIM = 206) which means that they will be giving less and we'll be drying them off at a more rapid rate. In fact, we've dried off ten and culled five within the last week. This morning I measured daily production at around 60.5 pounds per cow, and I imagine we'll be down below 60 pretty soon.

If there's been one good thing about this high pressure system that's kept the rain away, it's been that it has also kept the humidity at bay. We've had several days in the high 80's - low 90's, but the cows haven't shown signs of heat stress. They've continued to eat all of their feed (in fact they're eating more than "the book" says they should) and don't come to shade until very late morning.

No comments: