Australian Wagyu Forum

Milk Powder Prices Pressure Japanese Calf Production- September 2015

4 Sept 2015 – The Japan Agri News
Japan’s English-language web agri-newspaper reports that local prices of stock feed skim milk powder (JP¥10K/1kg) have hit record highs, where they are projected to remain, with a ‘grave impact’ on the Japanese Wagyu calf feeding industry.

Most Japanese Wagyu producers wean calves from one week of age, replacing dam feeding with skim milk substitutes until 3 months of age. Calves are frequently fed in centralised agricultural co-op (JAs) feeding facilities, which house up to 500 head and may use up to 30 tons of skim milk powder annually.

The skim milk cost blowout – prices have nearly doubled in a decade – is a production economics threat to national Wagyu herd growth targets set by the Japanese Government.