Agistment Rates

Dairy farmers in Tasmania often agist young stock and dry cows off the main farm in order to maximise the number of cows milked. Agistment rates for young stock vary. Also the quality of the job may vary. It has become popular for replacement heifers to be agisted on a weight gain basis in order to reward the agistment farmer for the result achieved – and to encourage the production of well-grown heifers.

The price paid for winter agistment of dry cows can also vary depending on location and season. Generally the cost will increase as the amount of feed allocated daily to the cow increases. The cost of transport to and from an agistment property should also be taken into account for budgeting purposes. Typical costs for budgeting purposes are outlined below.

Typical Agistment Costs

Type of Stock Per Week Per kg liveweight gain
Cows $15.00-$20.00 NA
Yearling heifers $8.00-$12.00 $1.30-$1.40
Calves to 12 months $5.00-$7.00 $1.30-$1.40
Bulls $10.00 NA

Source: Macquarie Franklin

In some cases yearling heifers are charged on a weight gain basis until April/May and then go on to a per week basis of $12-$15 per head. Some of the variation in agistment rates is due to the inclusion, or not, of animal husbandry practises such as drenching and mineral supplementation. The stock owner bares the cost of any drenches, mineral supplements and health treatments.