Operating a dairy farm is very challenging. There has been many changes in the dairy industry. Milk prices are more volatile, costs of various feed are increasing. As the size of herd increases, dairy producers have to hire more employees to manage the farm. In order to successfully manage a farm, farmers need to consider new ways of doing business.
Successful management of a farm involves optimum use of resources at hand such as land, labour and capital. Dairy producers must also constantly adapt and be wiling to try certain innovative alternatives in handling various aspects of their business. There are many factors that will determine the success of a farm. Here are some factors that are important to consider:
It is important to establish goals for the farm as it will serve as a guide when making important decisions.
Most farms will make profitability their main goal but other goals such as contributing to local communities or being respected are also important.
All family members should be involved when setting goals for the farm.
It is also important to involve key employees in short-term goals and communicating the goals to all farm employees.
Farmers will need to make decisions throughout the year.
For major decisions, it is important to have a systematic approach so that decisions are based on information and logic.
Here are some steps that will have you make an informed decision:
Specify a goal
Identify the problem
Collect all the information
Analyse various options
Make the best decision
Implement the decision
Monitor the results
Accept the consequences of the decision
In the information age, there are too much information available.
It is important to avoid information overload.
It is encouraged to have a management or advisory teams to improve farm productivity.
Farmers can also work with veterinarian, feed consultant, crop consultants and so on.
Working as a team will ensure that the farmers will have differentp erspective when evaluating a problem and have alternative solutions.
Cost of Production
Most farms will have different departments within the farm such as milking herd, forage production and so on.
It is important to keep a financial records for each department in order to determine the cost associated with each department and decide if there are more profitable alternatives.
Employees are considered the most important asset on a dairy farm.
Frequent communication with employees is important.
Employees need to know how and why are they doing what they do in the farm.
There also needs to be an outlet for employees to express any concerns or suggestions.
It is recommended to hold regular meetings with employees to get feedback.
Successful farm management is achievable through effective and efficient use of available resources.
It is important to set realistic goals, have a systematic process for making decision, and know your costs.
It is encourage to have a management or advisory team to help the farmers integrate information from several sources.
Frequent communication between owners and employees is also crucial.