Every year Germanys best dairy farmers meet to discuss current challenges and to talk about future ways of milk production. The DLG Milk Production Forum exists since 2004 and is a collaborative project between various consulting organizations and the DLG. The aim of the forum is to establish the exchange of information and experience at the federal level between leading milk producers and consultants and to create a broad nationwide database of business and production results.
The conference starts with the annual branch evaluation, for which around 300 farmers provide their data. The evaluation shows on one side what cost items have the biggest impact on a positive operating result and on the other side how high the effect of the milk price is. Attention is paid not only to the different regions, but also to the different farm structures and different breeds of cattle. After a very good year, the last conference showed a rather sobering result for the observation period 2018/19 and only 65 percent of the farmers were able to achieve a positive calculated operating result of 1.26 cents per kilogram of energy-corrected milk (ECM). This result is mainly due to the regionally dependent, consistently low milk price and the higher production costs caused by the drought. For the observation period 2019/20, due to the renewed drought situation in some regions and the partly lower milk price in the first half of 2020, no increase in the calculated result of the branch evaluation is expected.
In addition to the economic evaluation, the conference is about taking a closer look at current, high discussed topics. For example at the conference of this year the topic was “High added value through sustainable milk production”. The topic of the conference is dealt with in seven working groups with regard to the animals, the environment and the social aspect. At the upcoming conference, speakers from theory and practice will discuss, for example, new strategies for securing feed and the optimal use of it. In the same way, the ongoing digitalization is discussed and how it can help to keep an eye on the health status of the cows.
The annual highlight is the presentation of international dairy farms. Farmers from Argentina, Russia, the USA and also from Iran have presented their milk production processes in recent years. At the last conference, our top farmers were able to learn more about milk production in Finland.
Beside of all that, the reason why the event is so important for our farmers is, because dairy producers from the south and the north of Germany can talk about challenges in each region and exchange some good advices for each other. The event has developed into a small family of top milk producers in the past 16 years and events like this are important, not only for our company, also for the dairy sector to find new solutions for the future of milk production.