Dairy Business Farm Planning
Stage 2: Thinking about what you have to do
There are five steps in completing Stage 2 of the farm plan.
stage2_1 (32KB, PDF)
Before setting out on a journey, you must know where you are leaving from. Similarly with a farm plan, you must start by clearly understanding where you are now (your starting point). Every farm has its own unique characteristics, which vary from financial efficiency, physical resources, capital resources, labour and family circumstances. Your plan must take all of these into account.
Current stock: What are current cow numbers? What animals can be sold to help finance your plan? Increasing herd size requires suitable replacements being available. How many have you?
Land: How much of the milking block and out farms were soil sampled in the last five years? What about soil type? Does drainage work need to be carried out? What is your current farm stocking rate?
Current facilities: What is the current position with milking facilities, slurry storage and winter accommodation? What about your grazing infrastructure (water and roads)?
Labour and farm information: In addition to yourself who is doing the work on your farm? Your farm plan must be based on solid information coming from you farm. What information do you use?
Financial: Use Teagasc eProfit Monitor to get the cost of producing a litre of milk.
What savings are available for investing and how much would you be prepared to use for any planned farm investment? What is the current level of repayments per annum and when will these finish? Debt per cow is a measure that can indicate if you can afford to borrow more money for further development. In general, at low costs of production farms can carry higher levels of debt per cow whereas at high costs of production there is little scope to carry additional debt per cow. Use Appendix 6 to help calculate total farm debt.