As the famous saying goes “You cannot manage what you do not measure”.  This statement is quite true when it comes to milk recording, when comparing herds that are milk recording with those who are not. Without milk recording, how can herd owners see individual cows who are preforming better than there herd mates – milk recording gives a breakdown of each cows performance and allows for more informed decisions to be made, for example, knowing which cows have the highest cell count or milk yield.

The table below, which is generated from the co-op data, shows the difference in performance between  herds who have never carried out milk recording with those that have.

The table shows a significant difference in output per cow and illustrates the importance of  data recording. Herds who are both HerdPlus members and milk recording see a €230  per cow higher return over herds that have never recorded. Overall, it can be seen that herds participating in milk recording are producing more milk and higher solids. The figures show, that on an average sized dairy herd of 90 cows, the extra output equates  to €20,700 in herds who are recording and in HerdPlus, when compared to herds not currently recording

Milk recording, which has seen a 12% increase nationally,  has a major part to play in our national dairy industry, from helping farmers see their most profitable cows, to keeping track of cows SCC’s to help enable selective dry cow therapy. Milk recording data also feeds into genetic evaluations thus increasing EBI reliabilities, which then allows for more accurate breeding decisions.

Given all the extra gains that can be made from milk recording, can you afford not to?