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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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Bruce and Brad Scott of Scott Brothers Dairy located in San Jacinto, California, have big plans this fall.

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The Federal Milk Marketing Orders are a collective enterprise designed to work for the benefit of the whole, not a few.

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Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series of articles that discuss milk pricing.

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You have most likely heard the expression that bigger isn’t always better. In my conversations, I find that many dairymen tend to disagree with that statement. Economies of scale spread over sound management have allowed producers over the past five years to not only expand their herd size, but also their productivity (see Chart 1). And despite efforts to keep cow numbers at bay, growth has continued among varying geographies and herd sizes.

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One year ago in the May 2007 issue of Progressive Dairyman, I was asked to write an article on feed price direction. By using basic fundamental analysis, a dose of futuristic forward thinking and some technical analysis on historical price patterns in commodity markets, I forecasted that the next bull market would likely give us upper $6 to lower $7 corn prices.

Well, $7 corn is here, and everyone is now wondering, “What’s next?”

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Maurie and Rita Young, owners of Emerald Spring Dairy in Plainview, Minnesota, saw an opportunity in November 2005 to expand their 500-cow operation. Heijwood Dairy, a neighboring farm located directly across the highway from their farm, went up for sale. Although the Youngs believed purchasing the farm would be advantageous, they also knew it would tighten their equity position and decided it was more of a “squeeze” than they were comfortable with taking.

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