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www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
JANUARY
65
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
MANAGEMENT HINTS
JANUARY
64
By Matt Ryan
2018 resolutions
If you continue to do the same thing/s that you always
did, you can expect the same results that you always got.
Therefore, be prepared and able to change with this `new
era' in dairy farming. This is the era of:
X
Computer/phone/hi-tech are you as literate as you need
to be?
X
Milk price volatility are you risk-managing it within the
farm gate?
X
Detail (not generalities) are you up to speed in choosing
your artificial insemination (AI) bulls? Do you know what
`predicted difference' means in this context?
X
Detail on growing 20 tonnes of grass have you the
knowledge to do so?
X
Larger cow herds are you able to deal with all the
requirements?
X
Dealing with employed staff are you competent to do so?
X
Managing all your farm resources are you the manager
on your farm? Answer thoughtfully;
X
Environmental care and carbon foot printing are you
aware of what you must do to comply?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, you must make
a plan to inform/educate yourself and the farm team, so that
you are `staying up with' the new dairy farming era.
New year's resolutions are a very good idea because
they help to focus our attentions on the most important
priorities in life:
X
Life is moving so fast now, both outside and inside
the farm gate, that we can easily lose sight of the most
important things in life;
X
Expansion has taken us into a new world of managing
scale and managing people;
X
Farmers are more stressed by being over-worked and
over-borrowed, by not being able to source labour but,
more importantly, not being able to communicate clear
instructions to staff, be they employees or family;
X
Inadequate or volatile income is also a contributory factor
to stress.
Write your goals/targets down:
X
The people who have goals are more likely to achieve
them when compared with those who haven't goals;
X
If you don't know where you are going, how do you expect
to get to where you should be?
Set yourself some short-term and long-term personal goals:
X
"I will work X amount of hours per week";
X
"I will play golf/train a team, etc, two to three times per
week";
X
"I will bring my partner out once per week";
X
"I will go to see my children play sport/do Irish dancing
every time they perform";
X
"I will join Macra na Feirme or Toastmasters";
X
"I will become a more active member of my discussion
group";
X
"I will do a night class to broaden my contacts and
knowledge";
X
"I will exercise two or three times per week, be it jogging,
yoga, pilates, etc";
X
"I will prepare for retirement in five, 10, or 20 years".
Let me remind you of some specific farming goals you
should have for 2018. Adhere to the following objectives:
X
I will (today) complete the Dairy Profit Monitor for 2017.
This is a total waste of time if you do not get a detailed
report from your adviser and sit down with him and other
family members to review the last year before moving on;
X
I will use the Cost Control Planner in 2018. Most dairy
farmers are miles off the pace on financial management;
in fact, they don't do any and expect to be ok at the end of
the year;
X
I will plan to increase farm profit by 10 per cent in 2018.
This will be extremely difficult as milk price is projected
to decrease by at last 5c/L which will reduce the 80-cow
farmer's income (average farmer) by 250/cow or 22,000
overall.
X
I will increase my herd Economic Breeding Index (EBI) by
5-10 per cow per year.
Messages
:
2018 resolutions;
Use the 2018 Management Tool Kit;
Decide on your January health `cheques';
Plans to grow more grass;
Analyse your 2018 financial performance
and act;
Get ready for spring tasks;
Use your discussion group to help you embark
on the `new era'.
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