These farmers are determined to make a high profit to enable them to do the things they enjoy. Using OAD in January (February in a good season) allows them the freedom to achieve this.
All cows are wintered on the property and a small amount of supplement, (6% of feed eaten), is purchased, normally as PKE, in spring to support their early calving.
These farmers operate a worst-case scenario type budget. This allows them to establish the maximum funding requirements for the year. It also means that they are always achieving better than the budget. Although this budget is more than was spent last season, it is expected that farm working expenses will be the same or less.
These farmers will not be continuing as part of this project for the 17-18 season due to other commitments. We would like to thank them for their generosity in sharing their data.
They adhere to the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid) of growing and harvesting lots of feed, last 3 seasons average pasture eaten is 16 t DM/ha.
To do this they need to maintain a high fertility property. Farm walks are still done on a regular basis especially over winter and spring to keep management sharp.
Lessons from other seasons are often used though the use of farm diary records. These historic records can often give ideas on what has been done in the past in a given situation what the results were.
By keeping the system simple it provides focus and gives less chance of error. They don’t change their farming practice according to payout. Money spent on prevention and information e.g. blood and liver biopsy’s to monitor trace elements and then select treatment according to price.
Key message; Grow plenty of feed on the farm and use it – have got to keep farm fertility up to do this.
Key Success Factors
This farmer was part of a panel for a Tactics field day here is a summary of their combined key points. Here are his 9 Pointers to improved and sustained profit:
- Expect to make a profit every year – set your business up to do so.
- Be open and honest with yourself as to why you do/need things. Is it for ease of farming? Is it for profit? Is it for fun?
- Do what you can yourself if it saves you money. Create time by working more efficiently.
- Use all the farm assets to maximise your income (it’s more than milk, remember your stock).
- As a team set targets on where wastage can be reduced – time? supplement management? or other costs? – work on it together.
- Understand what an essential cost is and what is a ‘clip-on’. ‘Clip-ons’ are the ‘nice-to-haves’ or the backups we use to cover poor management. For most farmers there are 40c-$1/kgMS of these in your costs.
- Plan more and do more around prevention.
- Include staff in what’s happening, share your farm working expenses and seek and use their ideas- they have different experiences to contribute.
- Know what your figures are and have some system of monitoring them.
2016-17 Season Review
Numbers at a glance
|Financial KPI's*||Budget||Actual||Physical KPI's||2016/17|
|Net Dairy Cash Income
|Total Farm Working Expenses
|$2.07||$2.17||Pasture and Crop Eaten
|Cash Operating Surplus/Deficit
|$2.86||$4.70||Imported Supplements & Dry Cow
Grazing (% of total feed eaten)
|Gross Farm Revenue
|$4.93||$6.65||Six Week In-Calf Rate
|$2.93||$2.94||First Calvers on Farm End of Season
(% of first calvers at start of season)
|$2,434||$4727||Milksolids per Labour Unit
*These KPI's are based on cash book actuals to 31 May 2017 and estimated non-cash adjustments. The final financial performance based on financial statements may differ.
In general an ok season, especially with the challenging climatic conditions. Because farm has an early dry off date anyway, there wasn't a shortening of the milking period due to the April flooding/storm events, which also resulted in about 100 trees been blown down.
There is an expectation that there will be some carryover cost into the 17/18 season mainly races and undersowing of some paddocks that are a bit flood affected.
Click the links below to view this farm's actual budget figures: