Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2005

Timeliness costs for the silage harvest in conventional and organic milk production

Gunnarsson C, Sporndly R, Hansson PA


Timeliness costs, a time-related penalty decreasing the total revenue in crop production, are associated with risk and arise when an operation is performed at an non-optimal time or with non-optimal capacity of the equipment, affecting the quality or quantity of a crop or both. Timeliness costs are needed to determine the optimal machinery system. The aim of this study was to estimate timeliness factors for silage production for the feeding of dairy cows. By calculating timeliness and machinery costs, the use of the timeliness factors was demonstrated on silage production on a dairy farm. Timeliness factors were calculated by estimating the economic value of forage harvested at different times by considering consequences in ration formulation, fodder costs and milk yield. This study showed that first harvest causes higher timeliness factors and thus higher timeliness costs, mainly due to higher yields and faster crop development. Moreover, total timeliness costs were substantially higher for organic silage production, compared with conventional, and similar to labour costs. Timeliness costs were particularly affected by changes in number of workers and transport distance. (c) 2005 Silsoe Research Institute. All rights reserved Published by Elsevier Ltd

Published in

Biosystems Engineering
2005, Volume: 92, number: 3, pages: 285-293