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Management

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

LATEST

Five years ago, I wrote an article for this magazine on mailbox milk prices. Since that article, much has happened in the dairy industry, especially with milk prices. Now it is time to take another look and see what mailbox prices tell us.

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U.S. dairy farmers have been struggling with suppressed milk prices for nearly four years. The first part of 2019 has been better, but improved milk prices have been overshadowed by tariff and trade issues, extremely wet weather in much of the country and the length of time milk prices have been low.

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With replacement heifer-raising costs often exceeding cash value, a growing number of dairy owners are recognizing the need to limit investing in excess replacement heifers and have developed a strategic breeding approach using a mix of conventional semen, sexed semen and beef semen.

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“We are just going to hang on and hope for better days ahead.”

How many times have you heard fellow dairy producers proclaim those words – or even uttered them yourself?

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I often refer to the incredible changes in dairy farms from my time growing up on the family farm in the thumb of Michigan to today. Let’s think about what has happened with feeding cows. When I was growing up, we fed bales of hay – pretty poor-quality by today’s standards – and grain, depending on production.

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When there’s conflict at work, the manner in which it is handled and resolved affects both the individuals involved and the organization itself. Whether the tension is between co-workers, managerial staff and laborers, or owners and employees, improperly managed conflict can cause disagreements, disputes and even litigation.

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