Let the Numbers do the Talking

For some time we've been highlighting the fact that La Coop network is directly related to good performance levels. Facts are always a good way to help support an affirmation: Among the 20 best herds, and based on the average quantity of milk per cow for eastern Canada, 16 get their feed supplies from La Coop. This ratio, equivalent to 80%, appears true for all breeds, Holsteins, Ayrshires, Brown Swiss or Jerseys, four of the 5 best herds are La Coop clients.
Why am I talking about highly productive and performing dairy producers again? Simple, first, they are good role models, second, because performance is synonymous with cost-effectiveness. The dairy producers who are eligible for the Club Select Synchro 750 represent the top 3%. Among this elite group of producers who have achieved a BCA of combined milk-fat-protein above 750, 99 of them are our clients.

When taking a closer look at the data recorded by these farms thanks to La Coop's monthly charts, there are some very enlightening numbers. These herds compare in terms of size and have an average of 60 cows. However, the main difference is in quota: 75 kg of dairy fat compared with 49 kg for the average 60-head dairy farm in Quebec. This is a huge gap! These 26 kilos represent some $176,000 more income per year! Even when taking into account expenses you can't help but agree that there will be more cash left over in the farmers' pockets. In fact, the data collected seem to show an advantage for highly productive herds in terms of net income per kilo of quota.

Dietary Efficiency
When looking at Valacta's annual report, we can clearly see in the data that there is an advantage to be had in dietary efficiency in highly productive herds producing more than 1.4kg of milk per kilo of dry forage. At first glance, the gap doesn't seem that big when compared with the province's average of 1.26. But in reality, this means that for every kilo/day of quota, an average herd will consume 7.6 t of feed compared with a highly productive herd with 6.8 tm. This translates into a gap that is over 60 tons of feed for a quota of 75 kg/day. And at the price of fodder and concentrates, this represents a potential for significant savings.

The huge gap in performance comes from the quality of management exercised in every aspect of production: fodder quality, ration stability, comfort and hygiene. In highly productive herds, there is a lower leukocyte count that is on average 212,000 compared with 253,000. Management and performance levels are also reflected on the median age of heifers at first calving, around 25.3 months against 26.8 months for the average Valacta herd. The advantages keep adding up when taking into consideration the need for fewer replacement animals. Furthermore, during the most recent Dairy Cattle Symposium, Stephen Leblanc, a veterinary with the University of Guelph, showed that reproductive performance was better in highly productive herds. In fact, Valacta's annual report confirms this with eight fewer days between calving than average for the top 20% of herds.

In light of this data, La Coop network will continue to promote high productivity with its Club Select Synchro 750 and early calving with Défi Goliath 2013. Both are essential elements for your business' cost effectiveness and its continuity. Talk to your expert-consultant.

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