Compared to the previous year, the costs of keeping a dairy cow have increased by €500 to over €2,100/cow

The cost of keeping a dairy cow and a backup unit has increased by over €500 this year and could rise further next year, according to Teagasc Dairy Specialist Patrick Gowing.

Peaking in a Teagasc webinar on the subject last week, he said an analysis of production costs for the period 2015-2020 last year showed that the cost of keeping a cow ranged from €1,000 to €1,100 and would have increased to 1,500 euros over the five-year period 2020 and then made a significant leap in the last two years up to 2022.

Last year we forecast for 2022 and say our forecasts were correct for about 2-3 weeks and then fertilizer and flour started to move.

Gowing has updated the numbers and the changes have been stark.

“We ended up with an average cost of keeping a cow and a replacement unit of €1,656 in 2021 and if we look into the future it will increase by over €500 and amount to €2,197.

“Fertilizer has made the biggest jump,” he said, adding that meal and other variables are now also increasing.

“A poor cow used to not have to work so much to cover herself. She has a lot more to do now. If you have to bring in store-bought feed that number increases even more, putting further pressure on underperforming cows,” he said.

Looking ahead to next year, Gowing said it’s difficult to make an accurate prediction.

“It’s very difficult to say, but food will likely continue to rise again. We’re not sure about the manure, it’s in a decline right now, but I can’t see it going down significantly Keeping a cow will be less next year,” he said.

He advised farmers to look at what type of cows they keep and what system they are in.

“It’s expensive to keep cows on farms right now. After 2015, the average cow would have gotten away with it, flour and fertilizer were relatively cheap, but now the pressure has come and we really have to deal with them,” he said. Compared to the previous year, the costs of keeping a dairy cow have increased by €500 to over €2,100/cow

Fry Electronics Team

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