The two partial budget examples below are designed to provide a framework for you to undertake your own analysis, by inputting your grazing costs, per cow production, labour expectations, animal health savings etc.
Example partial budget for grazing all rising 1 & 2 year heifers on the milking platform
This example partial budget for a 143ha farm shows a loss of $26,983 ($188/ha) if all rising 1 year and 2 year heifers are grazed on the milking platform compared to the status quo situation of grazing all replacements off, based on a $5.00 milk price and grazing costs of $6/week and $11/week for R 1 & R2 heifers.
The sensitivity analysis shows a small gain occurs of $1,057 if heifers are grazed on the milking area at a milk price of $4.00 and grazing costs of $7/week and $12/week.
Example partial budget for grazing all rising 1 year heifers on the milking platform
If only rising 1 year heifers are grazed on the milking platform then our example scenario shows a loss of $14,655 ($102/ha). The sensitivity analysis shows the loss ranges from $-5826 to -$23,504 with milk price ranging from $4 to $6 and grazing costs ranging from $5/week to $7/week.
This analysis is useful as a guide to decision making however it is just the start of the process. There a large number of other factors to consider when making the heifer grazing decision.
The primary goal with heifers, whether grazed at home or away, is to ensure they reach 90% of their mature weight at 22 months of age. If this is achieved the short and long term production and reproduction benefits are significant. If this is not being achieved something needs to change. See the Liveweight targets page for more information.
Other heifer grazing considerations:
- Personal preference
- Grazing price and location and long term relationship with graziers
- Stocking rate considerations
- Management or staff considerations e.g. visiting heifers, more complex grazing management, staff satisfaction
- Breeding methods, genetic gain opportunity, heifer weighing