Courtesy of Phil Brookes, National Sales Manager (UK)

August 2021 – The border between Summer and Autumn

How the days are flying by. It does not seem long ago we were talking Spring and the expectation that brought with it, now we are racing to the end of Summer and seeing the fruits of our labours.
 
Anyone travelling in the countryside now cannot fail to have noticed the colours in the fields changing from greens to golden yellows as the cereal crops are ripening and getting ready for harvesting. In many areas the Spring barleys will already be done, and the Winter wheat will rapidly be following along. There is expectation for some good yields from these cereals this year.
 
The grass growth has been good in many areas and the heatwave spell we had last month did enable many to make some very good hay. Reports are that silage stocks on farm are very good now in volume terms although there are some great variations in feed quality of this silage. Maize has really grown well in July with the warm weather and there are some very good-looking crops around the country. This forage is going to be vital to the farmers as brought in feed costs are showing no signs of reducing. The price farmers get for their milk is not increasing sufficiently or rapidly enough to cover these increasing costs and margins are being very tightly squeezed. As mentioned last month, 400 dairy farmers left the industry over the past 12 months. These predicted margin reductions will not slow this producer decline down and will certainly prevent any new investment.
 
Beef and lamb prices continue to be at good levels but the same is true for these farmers, feed costs are rising in this sector in the same way and so margins will be tightened and efficient production is going to be essential.
 
Just like here at Volac, farmers are all looking at “CI projects” to help improve production efficiency of forage, cereals, milk and meat as farm gate price cannot be relied on for a sustainable business. The products we are all helping to supply here at Volac fit so very well into this ambition for the farmer. Ecosyl, proven to improve the forage quality reducing the need for purchased feeds. Liverpool fats proven to improve fertility, milk yield and quality. Milk replacers for calves and lambs proven to give these new-borns the best possible start for a healthy productive life made from the milk British farmers have produced.
 
The farming industry is vital to Volac. We all contribute a lot to the farming industry and, should all be proud of the market leading products, technical ability and support we offer to it.
 
More next month.

Phil Brookes

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