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Management Hints
Get into the habit of actively managing your
farm. Few do!
Do your Dairy Profit Monitor now.
Concentrate of your weaknesses to make more
income in 2019.
Cows must be condition scored now.
Lameness is extremely costly take
preventative action now,
The milking machine must be serviced now.
Start feeding dry cow minerals from 20
Review your grazing facilities?
By Matt Ryan
Plan to actively manage your farm in 2019
Most farmers do not "actively manage" their farms,
which involves making long-term plans compatible with
personal and farm goals; making short term plans for
managing: grassland, breeding, and all components of
animal welfare.
Farmers tend to manage things "on the hoof" as they
do tasks. This is not efficient nor effective management.
The result is profit is always below that which is possible.
Let's spell out what you must do and put time lines on
the tasks.
Farm Financial Management:
December: complete the 2018 Dairy Profit
Monitor (DPM)
December: Review the 2018 DPM
December: Farm Physical Plan with targets and
December: Farm, 5-year, Financial Plan
December: Annual Cost Control Plan
Farm Grassland Planning for year:
January: Spring Rotation Plan (on PastureBase/
January: Spring Grass Feed budget (on
January: Farm Grassland Plan for whole year.
January: Do Your Annual Fertiliser Plan based on
soil results,
February and every Monday for whole year, walk
farm and measure grass.
April November: Use Grass Wedge to manage
grazing quality,
August: Do Winter Feed Budget
August: Do Autumn Rotation Plan (on
August: Do Autumn Feed Budget (on
Farm Breeding and Fertility Plan for year:
January: Cow and Heifer breeding Plan,
April 1st: Sire Advice planner to choose AI bulls
Farm Mastitis Management Plan for year:
January: Make spring/summer mastitis Plan,
September: make dry cow mastitis plan
Farm Body Condition Scoring (BCS) Plan for year:
Six times per year as follows:
Early Oct; Mid-December; Mid- March; Mid-
April; Mid- May; Mid-June.
Farm Vaccination/Dosing Plan for year:
With veterinary help make a Herd Health Plan for
all stock
Farm Work and Holiday Rota Plan for year:
Do for all staff and include family.
Make similar plans for other tasks that need to be
planned. All of these specific dates MUST be written up
on an Annual Wall Planner for 2019.
Do your profit monitor now
From the above timeline you will see that December is
all about Financial Management, that is, looking back
at 2018 and doing a financial plan for 2019. The Dairy
Profit Monitor (DPM) must be completed early in Dec,
reviewed and then the Cost Control Planner must be
done for 2019. It is possible to do the DPM now as all the
costs for 2018 have been accrued (stitch in possible meal
and other purchases and outstanding bills yet to be paid)
and it is easy to estimate the December milk cheque.
This task requires commitment and time to assemble the
data and get to your Teagasc Adviser before he goes on
Where can you make more money?
It has been a tough year. Weather was poor in some
regions, milk price and some higher commodity costs will
have reduced incomes very significantly,
The effects of the weather may not be over yet as
winter feed shortages exist on some farm.
Milk price on average is down approx 3-5c/l and
that will take over 200 off each cows' sales. This
will result in profits being 300 600 per cow.
Meal costs are massive with many well over 1 ton/
cow fed.
My early Dairy Profit Monitors suggest than
profit/cow will be down 400-500/cow, with some
as low as 200/cow.
You have to remain positive and plan for next year! One
of the principles of success is to PERSIST with what you
are doing and do it to the best of your capabilities.
Can you make more money, through better
management decisions, than you are making now?