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Spring 2023: Failing to plan=planning to fail

Spring 2023: Failing to plan=planning to fail

With Spring calving just around the corner now is a great time to plan work and time off. Task drift and stress can escalate if farmers are not mindful of the importance of planning and delegation.

A yearly planner that costs nothing is of benefit to every farm regardless of herd size. This is true because a simple planner focuses you to plan a few months ahead.

It forces you to discount your time off first e.g. weddings, family events etc. If you have someone working for you then his or her holidays must then be marked off. By marking off this time you have a visual of when you need to get help.

Why would the following tasks not be completed on time in Spring?

  • Calf sheds not cleaned out regularly
  • Vaccination timings incorrect
  • Fertiliser not spread when conditions suitable
  • Cows not at grass in suitable conditions

A big part of the reason is these tasks are not planned and the farmer has enough if not too much work already in front of him or herself. Being realistic about how much work can be done in the day is crucial and then plan to delegate to employees, family and contractors in advance so that they can also plan to be available.

Example of a yearly wall planner

Example of a yearly wall planner

The herd test, vaccinations, cleaning out calf accommodation etc. can be added to the planner. This makes these tasks a priority and shows where more help is required. If people know in advance then they can plan to be available to help out during busy times. Problems can arise in high workload periods like spring when extra jobs outside of cow/calf care are not organised in advance.