There are several things you need to take into account before venturing into a dairy farm business. No matter how experienced you are, looking at things from a fresh perspective is always a good idea. While interest in dairy farming is a primary factor, proper market research and business analysis are equally important to survive long-term in the business and make profits. Here are 5 things you should consider before starting a dairy farm.
Create A Strong Business Plan
Like other firms, dairy farms are commercial enterprises. The success of a business enterprise mainly depends on how solid your business plan is. It is important to conduct thorough market research before venturing into the dairy business. One good idea is to create a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of strategy and available resources. It would help if you asked yourself these questions.
- How many cows do I want to milk?
- Which cattle are suitable for my farming business?
- How much profit can I make?
- How many people should I hire?
A cash flow strategy helps you set realistic production and operational cost expectations.
Take Expert Advice
Consult a dairy industry specialist when creating your company plan and establishing your management system. The knowledge of other dairy producers is priceless as they have experienced various challenges already and know how to deal with them. Attend industry conventions and open houses at dairy farms in your community or elsewhere in the state or country. Discover more about what works and what doesn’t on other farms by visiting them and getting a chance to see the business in action. Talking to other experienced dairy farmers is a great way to get first hand knowledge.
Ensure That The Nutrient Needs Of The Dairy Are Met
Whether cows are fed TMR (total mixed ration), pastured, or a combination of both, dairy cows need specific nutrients to feed themselves, produce milk, and raise their calves. . Considering their nutrient needs, it is essential to work with a veterinary nutritionist to determine your cows’ diets.
Solid Waste Management Strategy
Dairy cows produce a lot of manure regardless of their feeding routines. This manure should not be considered waste and can be a valuable resource if properly used. Manure management is closely linked to planned harvesting and feeding schedules. Using dual farming technology on your farm, you can produce more forage and fertilizer to feed your land.
Make Planned Investments
Dairy production requires a large capital investment. Few new dairy farmers have the money to invest in land, facilities, equipment and cattle when they go into business. Many aspiring farmers first lease their land and farms before purchasing cattle. Hence, it’s important to invest in a planned way at each step and ensure that there is a minimum liability.
Dairy Business Depends On The Biological Clock
An essential thing for dairy farmers is the health of cows. The herd should be healthy to continue producing milk and giving birth to calves. This requires comprehensive programs dealing with herd health, reproductive and calf care programs. Veterinarians and genetics experts can work with you to create a complete operating plan and a future roadmap to success.
Proper Record Keeping
It is important to organize and track your cattle records. Cattle record-keeping software such as CattleMax software can cut record-keeping time by working smarter. Better decision-making depends on how efficiently you can track past decisions and their results. Efficient record keeping helps better supervise the cattle herd and helps detect any abnormalities in the herd, such as loss of weight, etc.
When starting a dairy business, choosing good quality animals is the key. A commercial dairy farming business can yield wonderful results with proper planning and management.