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Mad to milk!

  • 30-12-2015 12:33am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 166,031 ✭✭✭✭ LegacyUser


    Hey fellow farmers,

    Not sure where to start with this so it might be a bit all over the place. Posted here as wanted to keep my identity private from my username.

    Myself and the father have been contemplating the last few years about getting into dairy.
    We have attempted a few times but have got stuck on the building of the parlour. Whether to go second hand or applying throw the grant scheme.

    I'm of the opinion of trying to start off fairly right, I.e decent parlour( doesn't need to be new), I'd like to start with as many cows as possible.(50-60) And I would like to be getting a wage from it. Be it very small, as I'll also be working elsewhere too. Hopefully getting when dad retires I will farm full time. Or max number of cows on our land would be 110-120. My idea means we will need to go to the bank for 80 to 100k to get started. Dad reckons we won't get. And if we do we won't be able to pay it back. There is no debt on the farm at present. I done up figures and I think we could well pay back but I could be missing something. I really don't want to get into this if I'm going to be a slave to the farm with bad equipment.

    Dad is of the opinion we should start small 20-30 cows stay away from banks and put in a small parlour 6unit and tank for maybe altogether 5k now we also need to build a shed so don't know where money for that will come from.!

    we would also disagree a lot and to be honest I do not trust him with figures so if we went ahead I would be looking after that stuff and dealing with a accountant/banks/advisors and dad would basically taking a back seat. I would be doing milkings and dad would do the bit of machinery work that's needed.

    What would your opinions be on this?!

    P.s could you redirect the dairy folk, from the dairy chi chat over here. Would love to get a few of there opinions on this ?


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 14,241 ✭✭✭✭ Kovu


    Madtomil wrote: »

    P.s could you redirect the dairy folk, from the dairy chi chat over here. Would love to get a few of there opinions on this ?

    Sure. Will link it in the Dairy thread. :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,551 ✭✭✭ keep going


    sounds like you need to do a couple of years on dairy farm first


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,031 ✭✭✭✭ LegacyUser


    Have plenty of experience working with dairy cows!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,447 ✭✭✭ Mehaffey1


    You need to ask yourself if things are as bad as you think on the farm as it operates right now. Having no debt on the farm in itself is an impressive feat these days. Would investing in the farm to improve efficiency and long-term profit not be a better way to go?

    What are you currently running/doing on the farm at the moment over the course of a season? Most projections on dairy pay out aren't looking high for quite a few years yet worldwide.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,447 ✭✭✭ Mehaffey1


    On another point if you can already see disagreements on the horizon now imagine how they will flare up under the stress of running a dairy operation. Hard enough between business partners let alone family especially when both sides of the issue have a merit and point.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,387 ✭✭✭✭ Timmaay


    What shape is the farm in now, is it all in grassland, how is soil fert, how productive are swards, what sort of infrastructure is in place? Any stock to pay for some of the dairy herd?

    But anyways I'll echo what everyone else says, go get experience on a working dairy farm for a few months, and you and your dad really need to sit down and bash all this out a hell of alot better, if yous can't come to a reasonable agreement then that should be a serious spanner in the works.

    Personally I think it sounds as if your going in that bit too quick, 100k for a parlour could be just the start of your spending if you need to fund a herd of cows also, and need to spend a heap of money sorting out grassland, paddocks etc etc. However your dad's idea of 20cows is just a waste of time, your 1st year or so of milking the milk cheque will be desperately low, and will give you zero wage after being a slave to the parlour for twice a day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,447 ✭✭✭ Mehaffey1


    Timmaay wrote: »
    What shape is the farm in now, is it all in grassland, how is soil fert, how productive are swards, what sort of infrastructure is in place? Any stock to pay for some of the dairy herd?

    But anyways I'll echo what everyone else says, go get experience on a working dairy farm for a few months, and you and your dad really need to sit down and bash all this out a hell of alot better, if yous can't come to a reasonable agreement then that should be a serious spanner in the works.

    Personally I think it sounds as if your going in that bit too quick, 100k for a parlour could be just the start of your spending if you need to fund a herd of cows also, and need to spend a heap of money sorting out grassland, paddocks etc etc. However your dad's idea of 20cows is just a waste of time, your 1st year or so of milking the milk cheque will be desperately low, and will give you zero wage after being a slave to the parlour for twice a day.

    Loads of good points there Timmaay.

    With a dairy herd have you figured in the cost of both sides of the fertiliser bill. Not only growing grass with nitrogen but capital in terms of getting where your PH needs to be and replacing the nutrients where your soil is deficient.

    Also, stress from twice a day milking needs to be taken into account. Only 4 months into the milking season here and I'm sick of the sight of that God damn parlour.

    Furthermore, how are the farm lanes/races, fences and power set up? The farm I work on here is a recent conversion (4 seasons old) and the bill that hit home with me the most was the cost of fencing, division and getting the walkways into good order.

    How are you set up to manage effluent too?

    Parlour running costs are quite substantial as well from the plain electric down to plant wash acid to teat spray.

    Throw in a few more health and safety concerns, milk quality issues and even medical costs in terms of clinical mastitis/ lameness issues and dry off costs to consider.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,211 ✭✭✭ cjpm


    Exactly what dairying experience have you both got?? Milking, calving, breeding, grassland management, calf rearing etc etc...

    What infrastructure have you already got? Paddocks, roadways, water system, sheds, concrete yards, slurry storage, cubicles

    What machinery? Tractor with loader, spinner, mower or topper, vacuum tank, slurry pump, etc etc (only ask about the machinery as you mention that your dad will do that work, how much do ye expect to do and not contract out?)


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,352 ✭✭✭✭ whelan2


    what would the 80-100k cover?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,633 ✭✭✭✭ Buford T. Justice XIX


    Madtomil wrote: »
    Hey fellow farmers,

    Not sure where to start with this so it might be a bit all over the place. Posted here as wanted to keep my identity private from my username.

    Myself and the father have been contemplating the last few years about getting into dairy.
    We have attempted a few times but have got stuck on the building of the parlour. Whether to go second hand or applying throw the grant scheme.

    I'm of the opinion of trying to start off fairly right, I.e decent parlour( doesn't need to be new), I'd like to start with as many cows as possible.(50-60) And I would like to be getting a wage from it. Be it very small, as I'll also be working elsewhere too. Hopefully getting when dad retires I will farm full time. Or max number of cows on our land would be 110-120. My idea means we will need to go to the bank for 80 to 100k to get started. Dad reckons we won't get. And if we do we won't be able to pay it back. There is no debt on the farm at present. I done up figures and I think we could well pay back but I could be missing something. I really don't want to get into this if I'm going to be a slave to the farm with bad equipment.

    Dad is of the opinion we should start small 20-30 cows stay away from banks and put in a small parlour 6unit and tank for maybe altogether 5k now we also need to build a shed so don't know where money for that will come from.!

    we would also disagree a lot and to be honest I do not trust him with figures so if we went ahead I would be looking after that stuff and dealing with a accountant/banks/advisors and dad would basically taking a back seat. I would be doing milkings and dad would do the bit of machinery work that's needed.

    What would your opinions be on this?!

    P.s could you redirect the dairy folk, from the dairy chi chat over here. Would love to get a few of there opinions on this ?
    I'd be agreeing with your father on this one. Keep borrowings low and you will survive anything.

    Have you stock to sell to buy in dairy stock or are you borrowing for all the stock also?

    You haven't mentioned the facilities you have eg roadways, fencing, housing, slurry storage silage pit. If you have most of those already, I would say borrow to fund the (basic!) parlour and a few extra cows and work from there.

    I wouldn't be going off borrowing 100k unless most of the basic housing, cows and storage is in place already.

    It's not what you want to hear, I know, but that's my take on it.

    Best of luck in any case.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 166,031 ✭✭✭✭ LegacyUser


    Basically all we would need to start is do a bit of fencing, parlour/tank and building, sell sucklers and buy dairy cows. We have a main roadway running straight throw the farm going to most fields.
    As regards machinery, we will be contracting out all of silage cutting and baling, and slurry. Plan would be to buy a slurry tanker eventually, and maybe a mower/ Tedder to get it cut when we want.

    Our grass is ok and we could work on making that better as the years go on continue and try grow as much grass as possible.

    The 80-100k that I mentioned would be going towards secondhand parlour tank and building and with anything left would be going towards more cows.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,262 ✭✭✭ cute geoge


    Pity you dont buy the journal, they had a detailed cash flow planning supplement for a start up dairy farm similar no. to your self in dec.19 edition


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,239 ✭✭✭ Willfarman


    Will new entrant to dairying requiring big expenditure on equipment and facilities will bring more household income in than alternative dry stock enterprises now? No point being a busy fool old son.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,920 ✭✭✭ freedominacup


    Madtomil wrote: »
    Basically all we would need to start is do a bit of fencing, parlour/tank and building, sell sucklers and buy dairy cows. We have a main roadway running straight throw the farm going to most fields.
    As regards machinery, we will be contracting out all of silage cutting and baling, and slurry. Plan would be to buy a slurry tanker eventually, and maybe a mower/ Tedder to get it cut when we want.

    Our grass is ok and we could work on making that better as the years go on continue and try grow as much grass as possible.

    The 80-100k that I mentioned would be going towards secondhand parlour tank and building and with anything left would be going towards more cows.

    I'm going to go against the grain here. I think you need to consider going for the 100-120 from the outset. Borrow enough to finance the job properly. You mightened need to spend as much as you think on fencing but you are almost certainly going to have to upgrade your water system. I've been on a couple of conversions like yours including two in my own discussion group and they're all going well. Converting from a largish suckler herd to milking cows doesn't seem to be that big a step.pm sent.

    Actually pm not sent.Can't pm you as anonymous. Can you pm me? I've a couple of phone numbers that might be useful to you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,350 ✭✭✭ have2flushtwice


    What do you get out of the farm in wages now and what hours do you put in, and what do you expect to get out of it later and again what hours?
    Being realistic I see farmers who are efficient yet They still pumping crazy hours.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,350 ✭✭✭ have2flushtwice


    You don't need to answer that here, just think about it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,031 ✭✭✭✭ LegacyUser


    Hi guys.

    It's crazy how I keep coming back to this idea of getting into dairy.

    The main reason I haven't moved forward with the idea is not seeing eye to eye with my dad on which direction to take. We argue over nearly everything and most of the time I am only fit for the bed after being around him for too long so I decided against it for everyone's sake.
    I like to do things right from the off set and he is more lacs a daisy about things. Although I want to help dad as much as I can I have my own job and family to look after also.
    Like I said I have experience with dairy cows and would love to farm full time at something I have a open mind and would consider Sheep, beef, niche markets or milking goats even if it leaves the best return and I enjoy it! I wouldnt give a Hoot what the neighbours would think!

    but the strain at the minute with working full time off farm and working with dad on the weekends gets a bit much at times and I often wonder to myself why I put myself throw it. There is often lots just left for me to do on the weekends and the place isn't up to scratch to where I'm happy to go farming full time. If anything is needed to improve the place it comes out of my pocket. Although a lot of stock is mine i never take anything from the farm anything that's sold goes straight back into the place.
    Dad lives from the farm account as he dosent work off farm.
    So all the pressure is on me basically to to make the best of the farm. With all the benefits going to dad.
    We wouldn't be very well set up. And to get to the stage were I would be happy milking means I would have to cut back on off farm work.
    Invest heavily in buildings, small bit of stock and a parlour. I'm the type of person that would put his all into what ever I do to make it work so I'm looking at all options here and I won't be making any decision that doesn't make business Sence just to farm!!
    I'm starting to feel that farm is more of a burden on me than any benefits I will get in the future.! I'm starting to lose my faith in farming TBH!


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