Archive for July, 2007

Caring for Animals

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Treating animals with respect and compassion is part of every dairy farmer’s heritage. Farmers recognize that good animal welfare practices lead to the production of high quality, safe and wholesome milk, and they’re constantly seeking ways to improve the comfort of their animals. It is Because, without healthy cows, a dairy farmer couldn’t be progressive.
Dairy farmers seek advice from experts in nutrition on proper feeding for their cows. Dairy nutritionists recommend scientifically formulated and balanced diets that consist of hay, grains, protein sources and other vitamins and minerals. Farmers also recycle different ingredients such as citrus pulp, brewers’ mash and whole cottonseed that would otherwise end up in landfills. An important part of a cow’s diet is water. Cows get thirsty and can drink anywhere from 25 to 50 gallons of water a day. That’s why, farmers always make sure their cows have access to clean water.
Exercise is key to the well-being of cows. Many farmers have freestall barns, meaning the cows are “free” to move about to eat, drink or rest whenever and wherever they like. These barns also provide shade and protection from the elements. Inside these barns, farmers provide comfortable bedding for the cows in the form of sand, wood chips, recycled shredded rubber or mattresses. In regions of the country where it gets hot, farmers use a system of spray misters and large fans to keep the cows cool.
During milking dairy farmers and their employees are constantly checking and monitoring their animals. Nutritious diets, comfortable living conditions and solid medical care are all part of taking good care of their animals. This includes regular veterinarian check-ups across the entire farm, either monthly, bi-monthly or, on some farms, weekly, to keep an eye on the wellness of the herd. Vaccinations and prompt treatment of illnesses are among the many practices used by dairy farmers to ensure healthy herds.

Cows are no different than people in that they sometimes become ill and require medical care. Farmers work with large-animal veterinarians who can diagnose and treat an illness with the proper medication. Any cows who receive medicine to aid in a speedy recovery are removed from the healthy herd and won’t rejoin their herd mates until their milk tests free of antibiotics. Milk that tests positive for antibiotics is not permitted in the food supply and is immediately discarded.

Dairy Farming isn’t just easy..

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

If you have visited Bill Stumpf 1,200 acres where he farms and runs a dairy cows in rural Belleville and see how much effort he does everyday then you’d probably pay more for the milk at the grocery store.

He had been dedicating almost all of his time at the milk house milking the 106 cows, most of them are Holstein. Many people in the Metro East area mostly Americans, harbor an image of a farmer would squeeze milk by hand in a bucket. All cows are brought near the pens in their milk house where they’ll be fed. We shoppers think of milk in gallons and half-gallons while dairy farmers think of milk in pounds. On average, Stumpf said, a gallon of milk is 8.6 pounds.

“An average milker gives about 70 pounds a day,” Stumpf said as he sprayed orange-brown iodine on an udder. “We had one cow that was averaging 120 or 130 pounds, but that’s not typical.”

All farming have lots of demands and mostly, dairy farming may come first. Cows need to be milked twice a day, daily. Clean the udders, spray it with iodine followed by water prevents excess bacteria from getting into cows’ milk. When milking a cow, it will take 5 – 10 minutes depending on how much milk one produces.

Most dairy farmers have spent years breeding herds to get the best milk producers. When the market for milk drops, and he is losing money, you always have to anticipate that for any business, there will always be its ups and down.

Dairy Farming

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

A Successful Dairy Farm has three essential elements according to Teagasc’s dairying specialist “John Donworth” . These are income, lifestyle and personal development.

Above all its three elements, obviously income is the most important for a dairy farming followed by the work life and personal development. Every dairy farmer that wishes to expand in the future, naturally aims for a bigger income but it does not mainly focus on the financial side. Devoting once time and effort also denotes in developing a successful business and getting the whole work life balance issue sorted out to its benefit.

Bigger Cash flow shows a return to the farmer on the capital investment in the farm. Asset growth, on the other hand is the growth in value of the principle assets owned by the business (namely the land and stock). Focusing exclusively on cash returns increases tax exposure, while focusing on asset growth limits cash flow and debt financing capacity. A successful farmer could always manage its assets & liabilities. And adopt new technology which allows them to generate the cash returns necessary to service the debt.

But income always goes with lifestyle and personal development. In order to achieve your desired lifestyle, Farming must be simple yet flexible. In this way, a farmer can easily gain more assets with less requiring large amounts of additional labour and of course to provide time off.