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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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Is it economically viable to divert resources to raising out bull calves on your farm? Does the dairy steer enterprise offer an additional source of cash flow to supplement your operation’s financial situation? Having timely and accurate records and feed closeout information can help dairy producers answer those questions and make informed decisions.

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Forage may be in short supply this year, and one way to respond is to feed fewer mouths on the farm. Frankly, whether forage is short or not, it is always best to allocate your forage to the cattle that will return the most: the animals that are most productive. It is time to cull the animals most likely to be the least productive.

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Dairy farmers are rapidly exiting the business. More than 2,700 dairy farms shuttered operations in 2018, a 6.8% decline, according to the USDA. It’s not a surprise given the industry has suffered five years of below break-even production, and supplies have outstripped demand, which has put downward pressure on prices. 

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Since 1970, the number of dairy farms in the U.S. has dropped by more than 93%, from more than 640,000 to around 40,000 in 2018. In an industry dominated by large organizations, smaller family farms face constant economic challenges.

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The crossbred beef market doesn’t yet have a clear identity in the Northeast. Producers – both beef and dairy – who are early adapters are seeing some success in the markets, and the potential to develop a thriving crossbred beef industry in the region is high.

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For 10 years now, the interdependent crossbred calf system put into place between Riverview Dairy and Wulf Cattle, home to Limousin genetic seedstock, “seems to be working,” spokesperson Lauren Osborn said during her presentation at the 2019 New York Beef Producers’ Association Annual Winter Conference.

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