The effect of available resources on the forage-grain feeding ratios and forage production systems on selected Virginia grade A dairy farms

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Virginia Tech


Dairy farmers in Virginia are confronted with the problem of continually re-organizing and adjusting their farming operations in an effort to maintain or improve their competitive position. Increasing competition in dairying within the state, as well as potential competition developing in areas outside of the state, makes it essential that dairymen operate efficiently. In particular, they must give careful consideration to various ways of reducing their production costs. Feed costs make up 50 to 60 percent of the total cost of producing milk. Consequently, the feeding program on any dairy farm greatly affects the cost of producing milk and, ultimately, the net return to the farmer.

This study had four objectives: (1) to determine the available resources and their restrictions on the farms included in this study; (2) to determine an optimum forage and grain production system and forage to grain feeding ratio for three levels of milk production per cow with milk sales at the blend price not to exceed the present total base sales; (3) to determine which of the three levels of milk production is the most profitable at the present blend price of $5.73 per 100 pounds; (4) to study the effect of changes in the price of milk on the relative profitability of the three levels of production per cow and the forage-to-grain feeding ratios when the amount of profitable milk production is less than the present base.