Resources to help manage during low margin times

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e-Alert: MARCH 2018

Managing in Challenging Times

Ten Key Herd Management Opportunities on Dairy Farms During Low Margin Times
By: Tom Overton, Jason Karszes, Robert Lynch, Julio Giordano, and Mike Van Amburgh

Tighter and likely negative margins on many dairy farms now and for much of 2018 make it even more critical for dairy producers to focus their management skills on making sure that their herd management is “being all that it can be.”

  1. Maximize milk component production
  2. Relentlessly seek marginal milk opportunities
  3. Don’t lose fresh cows
  4. Identify and potentially cull low value and low profit cows
  5. Ensure that all management protocols are still appropriate, are working and are being followed
  6. Don’t incur excess heifer rearing costs: raising animals longer than necessary or raising too many
  7. Get the most out of your reproduction program
  8. Optimize neonatal management
  9. Strategically identify ration opportunities
  10. Maximize your feeding management program

View the full article Ten Key Management Opportunities During Low Margin.


Do’s and Don’ts for Dairy Farmers When Facing Financial Difficulty
By: Wayne A. Knoblauch
Wayne A. Knoblauch, Professor, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, SC Johnson College of Business, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has prepared a list of 25 Do's and 11 Don'ts strategies for farmers.

View the full article Facing Financial Difficulty.


Stressed? What to Do About it.

NY Farm Net is offering a free stress management webinar for agriservice and farmers at 1 PM, March 29.

This webinar will discuss:

  • different perspectives and types of stress
    symptoms of stress and warning signs
  • stress management techniques
  • how stress may affect farm business management decisions
  • warning signs and evaluating individual stress levels
  • where to get support
The New York State Agricultural Mediation Program is an additional resource. They provide the opportunity to communicate clearly and negotiate effectively to find fair and workable solutions to challenges faced. Decisions are made by the people directly involved, and not by mediators or outside authorities. Mediation and consultations to discuss mediation are completely confidential.

Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY
272 Morrison Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
For more information about PRO-DAIRY:
prodairy.cals.cornell.edu
Julie Berry, Editor|Tom Overton, Director|Facebook

Feeding Strategies During Challenging Times
By: Tom Overton and Larry Chase

Difficult economics in the dairy industry now and likely for much of 2018 have herd owners and their advisors working to find opportunities to increase margins and/or cut costs. Using averages from 36 New York farms completing both the 2016 and 2017 Cornell Dairy Farm Business Summary, purchased grain and concentrate cost averaged $5.81 per cwt of milk (31% of total operating costs) and total feed and crop expenses averaged $7.34 per cwt of milk (39% of total operating costs). Given the large contribution of feed and crop expenses to total operating costs, it is logical to carefully evaluate these aspects of management. Five key focus areas to ensure that your feeding program is all that it can be.

  1. Know and track Income Over Feed Cost (IOFC) and Income Over Purchased Feed Cost (IOPurFC)
  2. Make sure you are optimizing use of homegrown forages and feeds
  3. Fine tune your feeding management
  4. Strategically review rations with your nutritionist
  5. Carefully review cow and heifer inventories and needs

View the full article Feeding Strategies During Challenging Times.


Key Opportunities to Optimize 2018 Crop Production Efficiency
By: Joe Lawrence, Kitty O’Neil, Karl Czymmek and Mike Hunter

Most farms routinely concern themselves with minimizing expenses and optimizing profits from both the animal and cropping sides of the operation. To assure that cost control strategies don’t undermine productivity; i.e. cost more than they save, it is a good idea to avoid risky choices and to use sound, science-based information when planning management options.

  1. Use your acres efficiently
  2. Carefully consider crop varieties and seeding rates
  3. Manage tillage and equipment passes across the field
  4. Optimally capture manure and soil nutrients to reduce fertilizer needs
  5. Evaluate real pest management needs
  6. Focus on timely and flexible forage harvest and storage

View the full article Key Opportunities to Optimize 2018 Crop Production Efficiency online.


Preliminary DFBS Progress Report
Selected Financial and Production Factors
Average All Farms
Less Than 700 Cows
Greater Than 700 Cows

The second progress report of the Dairy Farm Business Summary was released March 12 and included 79 farms.

View the Dairy Farm Business Sumary Progress Report 3.12.18.


View Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY's 30th Anniversary "Enhancing the Dairy Industry" Report

Diversity and Inclusion are part of Cornell's heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities.

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