Development and testing of new performance measures for milksolids production per hectare


  • C.B. Glassey



With increased use of feed from outside the effective milking area on dairy farms, milksolids (MS) per effective ha is no longer a sound basis for comparing farms and evaluating options for improving efficiency and profitability. Development of new, quantitative measures for feed and land use efficiency is required. These measures should take account of the extra land used to grow all feed types used for MS production and define how well the feed grown and purchased is converted into MS. Two methods were used to re-calculate MS per ha for six high performing farms (average of 2073 kg MS per effective ha) using a wide range of imported feed. Using these calculations, the farms averaged 1513 kg MS per total ha used and 1450 kg MS per ha produced from home grown pasture and crops. Yields of home grown pasture and crop harvested per effective ha ranged from 14.7 to 17.5 t DM per ha and feed conversion efficiency ranged from 85-94 kg MS per tonne DM. These benchmarks can be used to identify opportunities to improve pasture grown, harvested and converted into milksolids on NZ dairy farms. Keywords: milksolids per hectare, imported feed, pasture harvested per ha, feed conversion efficiency