Management Tips

The Art of Controlling Feed Costs

The Art of Controlling Feed Costs

6/12/2018

To reduce feed costs, farmers need to pay attention to both the cost and the feed value of commodities.

Tags: Feed Costs, Feed Management, Management Tips

Five Dairy "Do NOT Do" in 2018

Five Dairy "Do NOT Do" in 2018

5/16/2018

During low milk prices and low margins, producers should make sure they are cutting costs in the right places.

Tags: Management Tips

Keeping the Fresh Group Small May Have Benefits

Keeping the Fresh Group Small May Have Benefits

5/3/2018

The postpartum dairy cow is at high risk of disease and requires ample access to feed and rest. Despite this, a newly fresh cow faces many management and housing changes after calving. In a recent study conducted it was asked if keeping the group size small in the fresh pen reduces competition for feed and freestalls, and improves dairy cow welfare during this sensitive time.

Tags: Management Tips, Tranistion Cows

Optimizing Labor Efficiency

Optimizing Labor Efficiency

4/18/2018

Dairy farms everywhere are operating in a tight economic environment, and it is critical to control expenses and maximize income. Labor represents the second-largest category of expense, after feed, for most dairy farms.

With labor representing such a large share of expense, it’s critical for managers to get the most value from their investment. Managers must focus on the fundamentals of performance management first, then pay attention to the many detailed areas that add up to productivity and profitability at the margin.

Tags: Management Tips, Managing Employees

Helping Employees Through Low Milk Prices

Helping Employees Through Low Milk Prices

4/17/2018

The challenging times brought about by depressed milk prices have been felt by all in the dairy industry. While it may affect farm owners most directly, the results have their way of trickling down through the farm. If they haven’t already, your employees are likely to be affected by these lean times as well.

Tags: Employee Management, Management Tips

5 Tips to Maximize Dairy Profitability

5 Tips to Maximize Dairy Profitability

4/13/2018

As a dairy producer, you know cost control is important on a dairy, but the ultimate goal is profit. In most cases, when you add more milk, you will gain more profit. This may seem obvious, but many producers automatically assume more milk will come with more costs, such as feed, water, facilities and labor. While this generally will be the case, i.e., costs increase, the value of the added milk is greater than the added costs and thus profits increase.

Tags: Dairy Profitability, Management Tips

Feed is the biggest category of the input budget; therefore the biggest target f

A Cost Control Checklist

4/12/2018

There is no joy at the feed bunk. Everyone’s focus is how to keep costs down. Feed is the biggest category of the input budget; therefore the biggest target for tightening costs.

Tags: Feeding Strategies, Management Tips

Clarity and Fairness: Key Factors in Employee Satisfaction

3/23/2018

Employee management is one of the most challenging aspects of running any business. The challenges are compounded in agriculture, including the dairy industry. First there are the typical challenges – long hours, sometimes extreme conditions, hard physical work, etc. In addition, there are other challenges that do not relate to the work itself. For the most part, frustrations for dairy employees fit into two broad categories: Lack of clarity; and a perceived lack of fairness.

In other words, many dairy workers don’t always know what is expected of them, and, they sometimes feel they are not being treated fairly.

Tags: Management Tips, Managing Employees

Teach Employees What They Don't Know They Need

Teach Employees What They Don't Know They Need

2/19/2018

You’ve probably gone through various training scenarios with your employee teams and feel like your employees have the skills and knowledge to fulfill their job duties. Employees themselves might think they’re prepared as well. But in a study published in Harvard Business Review of employees across an array of industries, between 20% and 40% of employees are actually “unconsciously incompetent.” That is, your employees might think they know what they’re doing, but they actually don’t.

Tags: Management Tips, Managing Employees

Labor on dairy farms is an issue as farms keep getting bigger.

So You Need Some Extra Labor Force on the Farm?

2/13/2018

As the American farm continues to grow and evolve, the need for extra labor within these operations is also exhibiting the same parallel trend. Unfortunately, many of us as agriculture producers did not sign on to become human resource managers, when we entered into the occupation of agricultural production.

Tags: Labor, Management Tips