You must keep a milk record in 2018 the Irish Cattle
Breeding Federation's (ICBF) `cow's own worth' is a great
new innovation and cannot be compiled without milk
You must complete the ICBF Herd Health
You must have a breeding plan for 2018 use the Sire
Advice for this
You must have a fertility plan for 2018
You must condition score all your cows five times in 2018
so as to improve fertility and milking performance write
down the dates now.
On the grassland management front, you should aim to
achieve the following:
Have cows 270 (target 280) days, and 250 days, at grass on
dry and wet land, respectively;
Feed only 450kg meal per 5,900L cow at a stocking rate of
Animal health has a major influence on farm profit:
Deaths and ill health will reduce sales and increase
veterinary and medicine cost;
Prevention has to be high priority;
Farm office (I am not a lover of caravans for this) I am
a great believer in having a big farm office where staff can
Protocols, work routines, work/milking rotas, etc, should all
be listed on the walls/whiteboard;
Meetings with people dealing with sales, co-op, vet, adviser,
bank, etc, can and should take place here and not in the
Management Tool Kit for 2018
Farmers who are serious about staying in business and
maximising profit should use the following management
tools as often as they would use a tractor in 2018!
Dairy Profit Monitor;
Cost Control Planner;
ICBF Milk Recording;
ICBF Herd Health Recording;
Measure grass every week and record with www.agri-net.ie
or PastureBase through Teagasc;
Breeding chart, plus breeding plan;
Condition score chart;
Mastitis (clinical) chart;
Fertiliser programme/nutrient management plan;
Farm safety statement.
If you don't put these in place in early January you won't use
them during the year.
Using these tools, I would be very confident that costs can
be kept between 18- 22c/L in 2018 by farmers who are willing
and have good management capabilities: the driver of profit
from here on will be costs, because milk price will fluctuate
greatly from one year to the next.
You might say you haven't the time to do all this recording;
well, you should make time because this `work' will,
according to the experts, deliver you 60-200 per hour extra
profit. The larger the outfit the greater the profit. You should
get in the Farm Relief Service (FRS) to do tractor and general
work on the farm for 12-15/hr.
For sure, using these tools will produce far more profit in
2018 than driving a tractor around the farm.
Farmers who have a good adviser should have these
individual reports analysed and reported on. Then you, the
farmer, should act on the recommendations.
Necessary health `cheques'
These are called `cheques', rather than checks, because there
is money to be made in checking on animals during the