Management

Farm management

If you can measure it you can manage it

Published: 12/3/2012 Written by: Lior Yaron

A dairy farm is a complex system. There are many areas to manage in order to secure profitability, and few farms can be profitable without balancing milk production, feeding, animal health and reproduction. Research and personal experience show that measurement and proactive herd management in all these areas is critical to ensure the optimal performance of the herd and to achieve high economic returns. There is technology available that makes it possible for professional farmers to measure, manage and optimise the performance of each individual cow in the key areas of feeding, animal health and reproduction.

Read more »

Farm management

Monitoring the cow's body for more accurate decisions about health and nutrition

Written by: Monica Wadsworth

Automation technology is changing the way we produce milk, and the benefits are far-reaching: improved profitability, milk quality, lifestyle and animal welfare. It can also provide us with information about the cow that we have not had before, to support decision-making.

Read more »

Labor management

Talking with employees

Published: 7/22/2011 Written by: Gregorio Billikopf

Whether dealing with family members or hired personnel, sooner or later there will be some challenges that will arise. It is unlikely that we find ourselves at a loss of words when dealing with family members. Communication patterns with those closest to us are not always positive, however, often falling into a predictable and ineffective exchange.

Read more »

Labor management

Good discrimination in hiring at a dairy

Published: 7/21/2011 Written by: Gregorio Billikopf

Bruce Burroughs, of Vista Farming in Merced, discriminates when he selects employees, and he is proud of it. Of course, Bruce knows that it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of such "protected" characteristics as sex, race, color, religion, age (40 or older), national origin, and disability. Bruce knows, however, that he is not required to hire unqualified workers.

Read more »

Management

Dairy farm energy efficiency

Published: 4/20/2011 Written by: Andy Pressman

Rising energy costs and environmental concerns are causing dairy farmers to alter their management practices. Dairy farmers are analyzing their energy inputs and investing in cost-effective energy conservation and energy efficiency measures. This publication provides an overview of how dairy farms can implement efficiency improvements and energy-saving technologies that can reduce energy consumption and energy-related costs.

Read more »

Farm management

The benefits and challenges of modernization

Published: 2/23/2011 Written by: Monica Wadsworth
0 comment 12/6/2016

A survey conducted in Wisconsin in 2008 showed that many farmers and agricultural professionals have found real labour savings, better working conditions, increased cow comfort, and more profitable dairy farms after the dairy modernization.

Read more »

Automatic Milking

Managing the change to automatic milking

Published: 2/23/2011 Written by: Monica Wadsworth
0 comment 12/6/2016

An AMS affects all parts of a farm operation, not just the milking, and it is important to have a realistic picture of what to expect. Only a small proportion of the 10,000 AMS installations worldwide have been unsuccessful to date. Failures are due mostly to unrealistic expectations of the technology and the impact that it will have on farm labour, lifestyle and business.

Read more »

Personnel

Designing standard operating procedures to help workers do their jobs

Published: 9/3/2002 Written by: Richard Stup

What should a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) look like? It depends on the process that you are trying to describe. There are many different ways to present an SOP. Your goal as a dairy manager or advisor is to create a written document that helps workers to do their jobs accurately and consistently.

Read more »

Automation

Pollock's farm - New Zealand

In 2008 the Pollocks invested in automation, with a new 60 bail rotary, automatic take-offs, automatic cleaning and an automatic sorting gate.

Read more »

Robert Pollock talks about automation

Farm management

Automation and new technology

Written by: Monica Wadsworth

The benefits of automation on the dairy farm can be seen in improved profitability, animal health, lifestyle and milk quality. Automation saves time, but it can also provide information that will enable dairy farmers to be proactive rather than reactive, especially in terms of nutrition, reproduction and animal health. Imagine a dairy farm where technology takes care of detection of heat and pregnancy, detection and prevention of mastitis, milking, and even the calf feeding.

Read more »

Farm management

Guide to good dairy farming practice

Published: 10/7/2011

Dairy farmers’ production systems worldwide need to be able to combine profitability with the responsibility of protecting human health, animal health, animal welfare and the environment. Dairy farmers, as the primary producers in the supply chain, should also be given the opportunity to add value to their product by adopting methods of production that satisfy the demands of processors and customers. This updated Guide to Good Dairy Farm practice from FAO and IDF gives individual dairy farmers proactive guidance on how these objectives can be achieved on their farm.

Read more »

Dairy economics

Cash-flow tool helps dairy producers manage feed costs during tough times

Published: 7/28/2011 Written by: Monica Wadsworth

High feed costs and low profit margins are challenging dairy farmers to do more with less. A tool create by Michigan State University Extension can help you evaluate and manage cash flow. And it’s in an easy-to-use Microsoft Excel format.

Read more »

Farm management

Dairy cow mortality: A growing problem

Published: 4/25/2011 Written by: Marcia Endres

Besides being an economic issue, as replacing dead cows costs money, high cow mortality is also an indication of an animal welfare problem. Crowded barns, high levels of concentrate feed, lack of dairy personnel training and lack of experience to identify early stages of disease and apply timely and appropriate treatment are all factors that contribute to the loss of animals on the farm. Regarding a cow as an individual rather than only focusing on groups could help reduce some of the problems leading to high mortality in our dairy operations. Look at and see each animal, and treat them early.

Read more »

Farm management

What is Precision Dairy Farming?

Published: 2/23/2011 Written by: Jeffrey Bewley

Precision Dairy Farming is the use of technologies to measure physiological, behavioral, and production indicators on individual animals to improve management strategies and farm performance.

Read more »

Farm management

8 “Controllables” during hard times in the dairy business

Published: 2/22/2011 Written by: Jeffrey Bewley

It is important to keep in mind the business principle of “control the controllables” during hard times in the dairy business. This principle suggests that most of a business manager’s energy, time, effort, and thoughts should be focused on the parts of the business over which he/she maintains control.

Read more »

Farm management

Planning a dairy expansion

Published: 3/21/2002 Written by: John F. Smith Joe Harner

It is extremely important that a producer conduct a financial evaluation to determine how realistic the dairy operation expansion would be. Producers who want to expand need to consider the amount of capital that is available for expansion, the return on the dairy expansion compared with use of equity for other investments, and the cash flow benefits from the expansion.

Read more »

Farm management

Torp Farm - Sweden

Published: 10/31/2012

Patrik Johansson is a fifth generation farmer who together with his wife Elin and six employees runs Torp Farm in Månstad, Sweden. The farm has three main activities: dairy, beef and contract work. In 2008 they switched over to a more automatic operation, by installing four milking robots, and a fully automated feeding system, including calf feeders. They also use automatic climate controls in the barn to ensure that their cows have optimal conditions.

Read more »

Other Management resources

  1. Penn State Dairy Farm Planning  »

Newsletter

Sign up for the MilkProduction.com newsletter to receive updates on dairy farming and what's going on at our web site.

Click here to sign up

This web site is sponsored by