One of our project officers, Torie Harrison, recently represented her farm at a discussion group meeting at Kenilworth. The discussion, facilitated by DAF Dairy Extension Officer, Ross Warren, focussed on heifer rearing costs. The day was conducted to investigate heifer and bull rearing expenses and discuss various management techniques and results.
There was a broad range of rearing costs from $709/hd to $1356/hd, some farms had employed labour rearing the calves which was included. No depreciation was included for calf rearing facilities. The majority of farms fed high quality powdered milk to calves, the consensus being that the consistency of nutrition was an advantage. Most farms were feeding grain rations at over 20%CP.
The day highlighted how important it is to rear healthy calves and the associated costs. Additionally, the process highlighted the costs of rearing at varying ages, providing an idea of sale price either the domestic or export markets.
Torie has provided the calculations for her family’s farm below: