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My opinion regarding commercial dairy farming

I believe there are five areas which will determine the success of dairy enteprise

 Business management

Labor management

A profitable milk production level which is growing

Forage Quality

A quick review of some key points in each area should provide the basis for an effective plan of action.

  Business Management

Take responsibility for casting the vision for your business. This is of utmost importance if your business

is to succeed. It is the first principle of leadership. Consult others as you form your vision and then share your

vision when it is fully formed.

Keep complete production and financial records. With them you will have the basis for knowing both the

cost and the value of your business’ milk production. Both types of records should be monitored monthly and used

to evaluate cow and herd performance as well as the business’ performance. Corrective action should be taken when weaknesses or poor performance are detected.

Perhaps you should consider forming a management team and include people outside your business such as

a lender, veterinarian, your extension agent, feed consultant, etc. A fresh look from “outside” eyes can bring

beneficial insights.

Labor Management

There are no magic bullets but the following elements of labor management are important:

Recruit and hire the right people

Spend time to train; you, your employees and your business will all benefit.

 Coach and lead your team.

 Reward exceptional effort as well as obvious success.

Profitable Milk Production Level and Forage Quality

Aim for the highest level you can attain profitably. Forage quality and energy intake will be key. A

planned year-round program will improve your chances of success.

Should you grow or buy? Your goal for your land should be to maximize the energy grown, harvested and

stored and stored per acre. Timing with a little luck will be very important in either home-grown or purchased


Cow Comfort

The dairy cow is queen. The more comfortable she is the more dry matter intake she’ll consume. Provide

a clean place for the hours during the day she is resting and she’ll reward you with more milk because mastitis will not be a problem.

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.