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Updated: January 14, 2014 13:27 IST

Cattle owners struggle to make hay when price rises

M. Balaganessin
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A cattle owner procures hay for cows at Pirattiyur, in Tiruchi. Photo: A. Muralitharan
The Hindu A cattle owner procures hay for cows at Pirattiyur, in Tiruchi. Photo: A. Muralitharan

Demand is high in semi-urban areas; hay supplements the animal feed

There has been a scramble for purchasing hay for cattle among livestock owners in the district. The demand for hay has been on the rise, particularly in semi-urban areas, where the cattle owners have to largely rely on the hay available in nearby villages.

No sooner a paddy field is harvested cattle owners camp in the area.

A case in point is a cattle owner B. Jaya from Pirattiyur, who spared no time in purchasing hay from Manthoppu, a rural area nearby. She bought the hay for Rs. 22,000 and incurred an additional expenditure of Rs. 4,000 towards labour and transport expenditure.

She said the price of hay kept soaring every month and she wanted to avoid any scarcity during monsoon. She owns five cows, and the stock will be sufficient for a few months. Last year, a shortage of hay resulted in poor yield in milk.

Many cattle owners point out that the hay supplements the cattle feed to a considerable extent.

The spiralling rise in the prices of oil cake, brawn, and other feed compelled the farmers to curtail the expenditure on fodder.

N. Ganesan, State joint secretary of Tamil Nadu Milk Producers Welfare Association, said that it had become very expensive for breeding cattle.

He suggested that the State government increase the sale price of milk.

Rising feed costs and low procurement price of milk makes Dairy
farming a losing proposition.Feed costs account for nearly 80% of the
production costs and reducing feed costs is of critical importance.
Feeding locally available feed ingredients,agro by products and
industrial by products in limited quantities or wholesome feed with
concentrates and roughage component as in case of TMR alone will help
reducing feed expenses. Availability of straws at reasonable prices
further accentuates the problem.
Breeding problems and other health issues make Dairy farming a non so
profitable venture.
When a bottle of water is priced at 15/ there is no reason why milk
should not be priced at 30/liter.
The reasoning that increasing milk price fuels inflation holds little
or no water.
There is no doubt that farmers are quitting this field owing to these
constraints.
Feed subsidy and increased procurement price/selling price of milk
alone will keep dairy farming sustainable.

from:  Dr.R.Unnikrishnan
Posted on: Jan 15, 2014 at 19:33 IST
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