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Management

Manage dairy employees, establish farm protocols, take on milk marketing, and become more confident in your farm financials.

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High costs and low milk prices have dairy producers examining the efficiency of their operations. By increasing the emphasis on an individual cow’s production rather than the herd as a whole, producers can cut wasteful spending and make better-informed management decisions, including whether a cow should be culled.

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In recent years, cow comfort has become a topic of great interest in the dairy industry with many articles appearing in the popular and scientific press. This is no surprise since comfortable and contented cows are more productive. We continue to learn more regarding the best ways to keep cows happy. A cow time budget has been developed to help measure and manage the various parts of her day. This budget recommends about three hours for milking. Yet, this time budget does not specifically address the minutes when the cow is actually being milked. This is problematic because this is arguably the most important time of the day for the cow and her owner.

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Accounting! Just the mention of the word can elicit reactions ranging from boredom to fear in people. Accounting is probably one of the most misunderstood concepts of our society, yet it affects the lives of virtually every person on a daily basis.

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All dairies may lose money in periods of extremely low milk prices. From my observations even the best-run dairies are experiencing losses.

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Given that a majority of dairy producers are losing a substantial amount of money right now on every pound of milk they produce, the majority of the news stories you read are overwhelmingly negative. In fact, we tracked stories that are written in the dairy news media and found 80 to 90 percent of this year’s stories focused on negative aspects of the dairy sector economy.

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Who manages the risk manager? …typically no one. In most operations, the owner manages both the milk marketing and input purchasing decisions.

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