Finance, Feed and Farmer Top 5 Tips

Murray Dairy recently facilitated a series of panel sessions across the region where mentor farmers and service providers gave their top tips for consideration in the upcoming few months. In addition to providing information, the sessions provided a great opportunity for people to get together and touch base with others in their area.

The brief for the panel members was to provide their 5 tips for the upcoming 2-3 months and as the sessions progressed, there was some consistency in the messages. The farmer mentors each provided their tips, and, in addition, they discussed the challenges their businesses have faced over time, the lessons learnt and the strategies they will be implementing to assist them in these challenging times.

The top tips for each of the categories finance, feed, agronomy and people have been collated and presented below:

Click here for Top 5 Tips flyer.

Agronomy

• Grow as much home grown feed as possible, maximise your spring feed by spending where you will get the largest return on your fertiliser investment;
• Manage the grazing of pastures now, try and avoid pugging damage to all paddocks, make use of sacrifice areas while grazing strategically and in a targeted manner;
• Monitor your crops and pastures for pests, don’t spray unnecessarily; beneficial insects will also be killed when spraying for pest insects.
• Control weeds now in channels to ensure maximum water flow in the spring and summer;
• Talk to trusted advisors and investigate whether spring sown brassicas may be an option for pugged paddocks on your farm

Animal Nutrition

• Do a short and long term feed budget;
• Monitor cow production and be proactive to any changes;
• Look after your cows, feed to their needs and be proactive with respect to animal health issues;
• Look at the diet of your young stock, dry cows and transition cows, ensure you are feeding the appropriate quantity and quality feed required to maintain their growth and condition;
• Prepare a feed budget; understand your margin over feed costs and be aware that cheap feed is not always cheap- compare like with like in terms of quality.

Finance

• Financiers hate surprises, talk to your financial institution, keep them up to date with your plans;
• Know your business well- understand YOUR cost of production, understand YOUR financial position and review assets and liabilities, understand the difference between cost saving and income;
• Investigate whether it is possible to move to interest only on your loans;
• Prepare a budget, focus initially on the short term but plan for the long term. Review your budget constantly and be disciplined and prepared;
• Talk to your creditors, discuss options for extended terms if necessary, keep them informed;

People

• Talk to your staff, keep them informed of your plans and encourage their suggestions or input where appropriate;
• Work as a team and stay connected- to industry information, to neighbours, to family, to social networks;
• Look after yourself, exercise, stay healthy, manage your mental health;
• Make use of support networks and seek help when necessary;
• Be aware of your legal responsibilities if you are required to implement redundancies. 

In General

• Timing is EVERTHING and it is FREE (this relates to ALL aspects of your business);
• Don’t act in haste;
• Position yourself now for when things turn around- maintain numbers of young stock, keep condition on cows, grow as much feed as possible;
• TALK – to family, to staff, to trusted advisors, to neighbours, to bank, to accountant, to creditors;
• Look for opportunities in all areas of your business. 

For further information from these sessions please contact Murray Dairy on (03)5833 5312 or email admin@murraydairy.com.au