SEMEN suppliers are sharpening their pencils for a season that some say will be the most competitive ever experienced in the dairy industry.
And in a year when many farmers might be tempted to cut breeding budgets that can only be good news.
With farm gate milk prices through the main spring mating months set to drop to little more than 20 cents a litre, competition for the dollars that farmers will allocate to AI programs will be intense.
Darryl Brown from 21st Century Genetics said the decisions semen suppliers were being forced to make came down to simple economics given the difficult seasons in parts of the industry coupled with ruinous farm gate milk prices.
“We will be very competitive on price – we will meet the market,” he said.
He said 21st Century prices for all proven bulls had been reduced with the exception of those that were under extreme buying pressure and subject to allocations.
Semex Australia’s Jim Conroy said there were compelling reasons for farmers to look carefully before cutting semen bills.
He said AI costs overall amounted to just a fraction of overall expenses and it was well documented that compromising on bull selection was a short-term decision that potentially had dire long-term consequences.
Research by the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (DPI) showed that AI bred cows outperformed naturally joined cows by $53 a head a year which in a 400 cow herd meant $21,000 a year in additional milk income.
*Extract. Full report Stock & Land, August 27.
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