"Victimhood is optional"
Save on costs wherever you can!
Your future is based around controlling cost
get into the habit now.
Plan the end of breeding season.
Feed grass with Nitrogen (2 applications
remain), P & K plus sulphur.
Oct/Nov grazed grass is worth 1.70/cow/day
more profit. Plan now.
Weigh replacement heifer calves and in-calf
heifers now and act.
Weeds are for tourists, but can cost you 10-
Seriously consider clover in your perennial
VICTIMHOOD IS OPTIONAL
We all have played the "victim card" many times,
trying to make excuses for not doing something/doing
a wrong or for making a bad decision. It works on the
principle of blaming our circumstances, failures, bad
decisions on someone else or circumstances we think
we have no control of.
· Are you a victim of low farm income?
· Are you a victim of having too little grass?
· Are you a victim of having bad cows?
· Are you a victim of being over-worked?
· Are you a victim of stress related problems?
Take control of your circumstances to improve your lot.
Dairy farming is heading into unknown territory that
will bring many challenges to all. Brexit, environmental
regulations, labour issues, price-cost squeeze etc.
So as to not allow these issues `stress you out' and
make you a victim, you must rely on: your discussion
group, adviser, "pigeon carriers" (people in the
business with knowledge), your family, doctor etc.
Knowledge is power. To that end I will try to keep you
informed through this medium, but you must attend
all research demos/farm walks to build your knowledge
Remember the advice I give here is based on research,
All farm decisions from now on MUST be made on
· Will I make more money by the investment?
· Will I have to work less and be able to manage
· Will it help me to save on labour costs?
· Many, many farmers don't seem to be able to do
economic analysis on investments; they work on
"hunches" because it always worked.
Working "24/7" is crazy. What for?
· We always did it, we don't know any different!
· We have to because no one else will do it? Why
do you think sons/daughters won't stay working
· We have large borrowing? You can't manage
borrowings by working harder. You need time to
think and manage.
SAVE ON COSTS
With all the challenges that dairying is facing, profits
will be challenged and there is only one wat to
guarantee the future and that is by controlling costs.
Because farmers are used to spending they find it hard
to cut back on a `spending attitude'. Ask yourself: do
I need to buy? And if so, why and will it make you
financially better off?
Save as hard as you can on costs. Milk production costs
in Ireland are between 26 to 35 cents/litre (including
labour). You don't need to be a genius to work out what
you must do when milk price is 30c/l.
Use P & K plus lime as much as you can as the return is
152 per cent on the money spent.
Give no meals to any animal, except small calves
because the return of the money invested in meals for
cows is only 3.2 per cent (a no brainer!),
When grass is plentiful, the response to feeding meal
to calves is 8:1(that is 8kg meal required to give 1 kg
weight gain); whereas in autumn the response is 4:1.
Prevent mastitis (high SCC) by good, simple practices
Prevent lameness by:
· Good hoof care management,
· No aggressive driving to and from parlour,
· Good roadways.
Get all cows in calf as they are more valuable than culls
so be very pro-active on heat detection. Early July
mating gives an early April calver.
Scan now to confirm pregnancy it will also tell you
cow that are not in-calf; that have weak pregnancies.
With veterinary advice you can take appropriate action.
Reduce dosing costs
Make adequate silage this year so as not to have to buy
expensive feeds next winter. Surplus baled silage should
substitute for meals when grazing grass becomes tight.
Graze out paddocks well by not wasting grass by
`topping' or letting it rot by going stemmy. Save on
machinery running costs, particularly diesel, by grass
budgeting to reduce topping and once per month
13 times per week milking to reduce labour costs.
HIGHER MILK SALES
Maximise the amount of milk produced at grass
because it only costs 1.00 per day to feed a cow at
this time of year, compared to nearly twice that in
Your milk price will be high if the % fat and protein is
high, which is achieved by not having stemmy grass.
You will lose 1-3 cents/litre if you incur SCC, TBC, and
antibiotic or water penalties.
16:8 hour milk day, helps to free up time and results in a
little higher fat.