Dairy farmers urged to breed efficient cows as rising feed prices take a bite out of profits

Dairy farmers urged to breed efficient cows as rising feed prices take a bite out of profits

Cows with genetics that produce more milk using less feed could help dairy farmers around the world combat rising feed costs, which show no sign of easing. Breeding towards better feed efficiency helps lower feed costs as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

CRV research has shown that daughters of the feed-efficient sires it has bred can produce 2 to 4% more milk from the same amount of feed within one generation. This could potentially slash a farmer’s annual feed bill by up to €60,000 (US$63,600).¹ Alternatively, this herd can produce the same volume and quality of milk with less feed.

Cows bred using CRV Feed Efficiency convert any type of feed more efficiently into milk, fat and protein.

CRV, your choice for feed efficiency

Breed towards feed efficiency to manage rising costs

Feed costs represent around 60 percent of all variable costs involved in milk production in most several farming systems worldwide. The price of feed has more than doubled in the last 12 months as Covid-19 created shortages and supply chain disruption. The past months has seen feed prices skyrocket even further as Russian grain supplies are constricted or cut off entirely due to the war. Increased summer droughts only increase the urgency to work with feed efficiency.

Working closely with farmers

CRV Sales Development specialist Gert Jan van den Bosch says it is a stressful time for dairy farmers around the world, who are looking for solutions to rescue them from skyrocketing feed costs. ”Breeding a feed efficient herd is now more crucial than ever. Feed costs and feed quality levels have become a permanent challenge for farmers. In addition, farmers worldwide must comply with legal regulations and requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or improve water quality.

High feed costs are not a short-term problem. Farm input costs are predicted to stay high for the long-term.​ When it comes to budgeting in the short- and long-term, farmers around the world are feeling out of control during this time of uncertainty.​ Feed costs are eroding their profits.

“We are working closely with our farmer customers to help them ease the pressure on profits. After nearly 30 years of research, we’ve proven that by breeding cows that convert feed more efficiently into milk, farmers can make their businesses more resilient and profitable year on year, and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the same time. But farmers need to start now. Genetics is a long-term game.”
Working closely with farmers

Industry-leading reliability

CRV currently collects the daily feed intake data from five commercial dairy farms, totalling over 2,000 lactating cows. This results in 10,625 new feed intake records every day. With a total of 4 million records of feed intake a year, CRV is by far the world leader in collecting feed intake data. Its research on these commercial farms began in 2017.

CRV also collects feed intake data from five research farms on a daily basis. This yields the most reliable breeding value in the sector; 85-90% for daughter proven bulls.

CRV is the only company in the world that measures cow feed intake of this scale on working, commercial dairy farms.

Want to know more about Feed Effiency? Check our webpage on feed efficiency

¹ Based on a herd size of 500 Holstein cows producing 5 million kgs of milk each year.