Dairy Management in the COVID-19 Era

Apr 07, 2020

Tara Jo Bina
Countryside Feed Sales & Nutrition

With the recent chaos surrounding COVID-19 and the impact we have seen on the dairy industry, it is time to take a look at how to manage through the COVID-19 era. In many conversations across our network at Countryside Feed, finding ways to maximize resources, reduce costs, and maintain cash flow has been a recurring topic. After all, cash is king.

Here are a few suggestions of good places to start:

1) It’s time to cull cows: Low production, high SCC, late lactation open cows, etc. are all good canidates for culling. Cull Cow prices may not be the best (and continue to fall), but selling 15 – 20% of cows can offer cash in hand, saves feed for more profitable cows, and reduces crowding in lactation pens.
2) Only feed the heifers you need: This has been an industry hot topic for a few years now, but, in today’s market, saving on feed costs of excess heifers reserves feed and brings in cash flow.
3) Consider feeding high and low lactation groups: Feeding a higher roughage, lower concentrate ration to low cows can help maintain production while imporving components and cutting feed costs, without negatively impacting high producing cows.
4) Call a SBA (Small Business Administration) loan officer: SBA applications are available for different loans and grants. SBA loan officers will be able to assist in deciding what assistance producers are eligible for and in filing the applications. See the US Chamber SBA Emergency Brochure for more information.
5) Call your Countryside Feed representative: Do not hesitate to give your Countryside Feed representative to discuss any of these tips, re-evaluate rations, or discuss other options.

Also, with social distancing it is easy to feel alone in this struggle. It is so very important to check in on family members, friends, and neighbors (both in and out of the dairy industry) and remind them we are all in this together, supporting and rooting for one another!

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