DairyBase key to informing decisions according to Yarravel farmer
Dairy farmer Kate Hand knows the benefits of being able to analyse the business performance of her farm to make better informed decisions.
Kate has run the business side of a 150-cow farm in Yarravel, mid-north New South Wales for the past five years, with her partner Phill and his family. The farm has recently entered the Dairy Farm Monitor Project, providing their performance data as part of a wider report to all farmers across the region.
Participation in courses such as Feeding Pastures for Profit and Farm Business Analysis provided the platform for her to grow her knowledge in farming administration.
“The money side of it was one part, but managing a business, you have to find out what you don’t know and get better at all the little things. Those little things all add up to profitability.”
It was at these sessions that she developed the knowledge necessary to measure her family’s farm performance.
“Someone said to me on a course, just have a crack! And one thing that using DairyBase does, is make you realise how much record keeping you might be missing out on. How much silage is made, which paddock was it made in, that kind of thing,” Kate said.
While they maintain that they don’t want to compare themselves to other farms too much, Kate says that being able to measure key metrics such as production per cow against others is important evidence to record performance.
Kate said that using data helps to plan for the farm’s growth, and future investments.
“The data helps you find your ‘sweet spot’. We asked ourselves, ‘how many cows can we keep well fed, producing well and profitable, based on the size of our farm?’”
Having all their farm’s data in one place provides a benchmark for farm performance every year and informs Kate and Phill’s decision making. Kate says this enables them to see what areas they need to invest in, and opportunities for growth.
“The data in DairyBase gives us the confidence to take calculated risks and the opportunity to prosper,” Kate said.
In the past year, DairyBase has shown that their farm’s production has doubled since 2016, a result of improvements in pasture management, ensuring cows were always fully fed and investing in an automatic feed system to more accurately feed grain.
“To have made a difference like this to this farm has really fuelled my passion for farming, especially the business side of it.”
Learn more about DairyBase.