Dairy Management Practices – A Beginners Guide

Dairy Management Practices.
Dairy Management Practices.

Dairy Management Practices:

The following content is all about Dairy Management Practices for Profitability.

Introduction to Dairy Management Practices

The first question that comes to mind for any start up dairy entrepreneur or dairy farmer – “Is Dairy milk farming profitable?” Even if the answer is ‘Yes’ yet there are still many more doubts arising such as what are risks, what will be the investment, and do I need hands on experience in this or should I get labor and if you keep thinking the more doubts arises. In this section we will try to cover as many points and suggestions to make your dairy farming running into profits. Dairy farmers who are committed to run dairy business are investing in farm infrastructure and improving their levels of efficiency.

The world of agriculture and dairy farming is entering into a rapid change from conventional farming practices to more modern and technology absorbed into dairy farming sector. The modern approach to dairy farming trends is increasing and it is been observed in developed countries around the world scaling up of dairy production with medium to large operations. While many modern dairy farmers and entrepreneurs assume that technology alone is the source of huge income of scale in production and this is what drives small farmers out of business, the truth is proper utilizing of primary agricultural raw materials. Let us talk more about dairy management practices in upcoming write-up.

Dairy Management Practices – Economic Planning

Livestock plays an important role in the agricultural economy in most under developed or developing countries. Intervention of banks or government in the form of subsidy on dairy cows helps small scale dairy farmers to grow their herd size. Subsidies on dairy cattle resulted in significant increase in milk yield and consumption thereby increasing agriculture economy. Some of the factors that needs a thorough analysis for milk production on a farm include – location of the farm, infrastructure and farm equipment’s, availability of trained workers, laborers, climatic conditions, water resources, and financial availability.

Dairy Management Practices – Factors that influence

Commonly, feed costs are straightforwardly identified with dairy milk production, so the more you feed, the more milk production. Nonetheless, dairy production (milk yield) is not really identified with profitability. Studies show that the cost of dairy (milk) production declines as the herd size increase. Bigger herds can regularly capitalize on economies of scale by weakening expenses of production. The economy spread across labor, feed, transport, and other managerial costs will be comparatively less while the milk production increases over larger herd size.

Production oriented management, which concentrates on boosting dairy yield through increased utilization of feed, does not really guarantee the dairy business will be profitable.Checking monetary execution and generation proficiency on a successive premise is essential for the financial sustainability of the dairy business constantly, and it is basic amid times of low milkprices, high feed costs, or both.

Dairy Management Practices – Cows that Slow Down Dairy Profit

Infertility has both direct and indirect effects on dairy profitability. Poor fertility reduces hereditary pick up thereby increases veterinary costs, low milk yield, disturbs the pattern of milk production, cuts calf deals, expands the quantity of yearlings that should be raised, and builds the cost of Artificial Insemination or the quantity of bulls required.

Dairy Cows.
Dairy Cows.

There are few diseases in dairy cattle that impact the performance, profitability and welfare of animals. Mastitis is an irritation of the mammary organ or udder. Mastitis in dairy cows is caused by udder contaminations, more often than not coming about because of microorganisms presented either amid the draining procedure or from natural contact. Mastitis causes include pollution from milking gear, milking staff, manure sullying or filthy shed. Cows with Lameness are less competitive at the feed bunk, studies suggest decrease feed intake, reduced milk yield. At peak lactation period milk yields were lower by about 2 kg in cows that suffered from lameness. Milk yield and production can be affected and sometimes overlaps the next lactation. Dairy farmer should not underestimate the impact of lameness and Mastitis during lactation on welfare, performance, and profit.

Dairy farmer must check on cows that fail to produce economic level of milk to the feed intake. Milk yield must justify feed costs in a dairy farm to be profitable. Milk production levels per cow in a dairy farm less than 15 litres per day is not viable to be in profits. Cow lifespan is directly correlated with milk production levels. Lower production cows live longer than high producing cows such dairy farm may be less profitable.

Dairy Management Practices – Making Dairy Farm more Profitable

When natural resources and farming conditions are favorable doesn’t mean it is right to start dairy farming and expect profits. A successful economic dairy farm depends upon various factors apart from availability of natural and favorable conditions. The following is the core part in dairy farming business.

Dairy Management PracticesDairy Farm General Management and Care

  • Dairy Management PracticesFeeding: Increase of income depends on feeding animals well with a balanced diet. Feeding is given to the proportion of body requirements for body maintenance and good health. Adequate water supply to all animals at all times is very important. Milk production is directly influenced on the supply of quality feed apart from animal breed. Make the digestive system of the cow as efficient as possible by ensuring optimum conditions for microbial growth in the rumen. Optimize production by balancing nutrients so that these are used as efficiently as possible for milk production without straining the reproductive capacity of the cow.
  • Dairy Management Practices  – Breeding: Breeding is very important part in dairy farming and profitability depends on having healthy cattle in the farm. Best cattle breeds are raised so that they produce the most milk possible. This requires selecting the best cows and best bull for desired characteristics in the next off spring. All cows produce milk, careful selection of cows and bulls for breeding will increase the chances of more milk production in the future.
  • Dairy Management PracticesWeeding: This is a process to save money, labor and time. The survival rate of newborn male calves is very low and one out of every two newborn male calves naturally dies within six months. These male calves have no economic utility when they grow up to be adults. Dairy animals that are poor milk producers or those that don’t wean excellent calves are likewise great contender for culling. It is recommended to avoid cattle suffering from incurable diseases such as tuberculosis for farming. Cattle that are uneconomic, sickly and unwanted must be avoided for good dairy farming profitability.
  • Dairy Management PracticesCattle Vaccination: Nothing dreadful to a dairy farmer is hearing an outbreak of contagious disease in the farm or in cattle shed. Treating of sickly animals, medicines, loss of milk and loosing of costly animals by death are some of the issues effecting dairy profitability. Farmers must vaccinate in advance against contagious diseases. There are few diseases that are terminal and lead to loss of dairy cattle which will impact the performance, profitability and welfare of animals.
  • Dairy Management PracticesHeat Stress in Dairy Farming: Heat stress has serious economic effect on dairy cattle. It effects cows feed intake, milk production and reproduction performance. It is caused by a combination of factors such as temperature, humidity, precipitation, solar radiation and air movement in the dairy shed. Keep Lactating cows cool and comfortable which will provide a good return on investment by being more productive. Cooling devices such as sprinklers or coolers should be installed in the sheds along with cool water available to cows and heifer at all times. The ration fed to dairy animals in hot climate ought to be adjusted legitimately for minerals. Expanding potassium to 1.3 to 1.5 percent, sodium to 0.5 to 0.6 percent, and magnesium to 0.3 to 0.4 percent may bring about less warmth worry by enabling the creatures to dissipate body heat.

Dairy Management PracticesFodder Production

Cost on feed on a regular day to day basis must be reduced by harvesting own fodder production than buying which can spell serious trouble in profits. In dairy farm, land must be properly planned in dividing land for fodder production, construction of dairy sheds, and ancillary structures. Land for fodder production has become a modern approach in today’s dairy farming than investing on buying dry fodder. On an average an adult cow needs 0.25 acre irrigated land for growing fodder. High yielding fodder crops are cultivated to increase quality feed for less money than conventional methods.

Modern dairy producers are opting for sprouting fodder for essential nutrients to dairy cattle on a daily basis. Grains such as barley, wheat are sprouted in plastic trays or containers is allowed to germinate and grown for a week and then fed to livestock. For more details on types of crops, legumes, land topography, daily fodder requirement for an animal consult the nearest dairy consultants.

Dairy Management PracticesBest Farming Practices

Holstein Cattle Grazing.
Holstein Cattle Grazing.

Cows that produce milk must be healthy. Breeds must be best suited to the local environment and farming system. Herd size in the dairy shed or farm should be based on management skills, local conditions, land availability, feed, and infrastructure. Buy cattle of known health status. Prepare an identification system which will allow identifying cattle from birth to death through maintaining health records. Use medicines and chemicals as prescribed by veterinary doctor.

Dairy Management PracticesEfficient Disposal of Dairy Farm Waste

Dairy farm waste must be disposed of properly for the safety of livestock, animals, and staff. Animal manure must be stored in a closed dry site and later to be disposed for serving as fertilizer and recycling of nutrients into the soil.  No matter how well the farm is managed, animal death will occur and dead must be disposed within 48 hours in a proper way.

Dairy Management PracticesDairy Farm Labor

In agriculture compared to all sectors, dairy farm is the most labor intensive sector. One of the biggest hurdles in dairy farm progress is labor issues. The efficiency of the farm heavily depends on good workers. A good worker can take care of all activities of ten milking animals excluding fodder cultivation. In a dairy farm at least half of the workers must have prior working experience. At least one or two must be trained to carry activities such as de-worming, first aid, artificial insemination etc.

Dairy Management Practices  – Finance and Subsidies in Supporting Dairy Farming

For any business to be started, the foremost important resource one should have is finance. Poor or middle income people cannot afford to invest to establish any size of dairy farm. A few organizations are concerned either directly or indirectly by giving finance to set up dairy business, milk collection centres, dairy plants and so on. They are

Indian Dairy Corporation earlier was a financing agency for dairy developmental activities. Financing establishing Dairy unit, Chilling centre. Progeny testing farms, formation of dairy cooperatives. Currently Indian Dairy Corporation is merged with NDDB.

National Dairy Development board earlier was an agency implementing all the dairy developmental programmes throughout the country. Today NDDB provides finance to all state owned milk cooperative federations, for establishing new units or increasing capacity of milk processing units, feed factories and improving Artificial Insemination centers. It is also involved in the research activities including embryo transfer technology, cross breeding programme.

National Bank for Agriculture And Rural Development (NABARD) is the apex bank in refinancing for all types of agricultural operations. Though, NABARD will not finance directly to dairy farmers, but through commercial banks. It will finance directly to the state government to provide basic amenities to agriculture sectors such as dairy farm. Some of the institutes and banks that are financed at low interest were dairy farmers can approach for financial help include, Commercial banks, Cooperative bank, Village Cooperative societies, State Financial Corporation, Dairy Development Cooperative federation and district milk producers cooperative societies, District Rural Development agencies, B.C and SC corporation, and Tribal development agencies.

Dairy Management Practices – Tips for Profitable Dairy Farming

  • Take advantage of crossbreed. Crossbreeding can improve health, and achieving hybrid vigor.
  • Pay the additional cash for a decent bull. You will get it back a several fold when it comes time to sell your calves.
  • Learn and implement Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs). EPDs are calculated for birth, growth, maternal, and carcass traits.
  • By the end of breeding in a month or two get pregnancy check.
  • Be open and keep learning about dairy business.
  • Try not to be hesitant to change. Adjust your administration and marketing practices and methodologies with the circumstances.
  • Purchase feed by the truckload rather than by the sackful.
  • Know when to dispose of dairy equipment and other gear that increase maintenance cost.
  • Supplement hay according to its quality.
  • Culls cows that are not economically viable.

Dairy Management Practices- Bottom Line:

Dairy Farming requires investment, hard work, dedication, proper business plan, dairy management practices to be profitable and successful.

For Egg Poultry Farming: Read here.

For Dairy Business Question and Answers: Read here.


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