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Farm labour management

  • 13-01-2020 4:59pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 8,003 ✭✭✭ Mooooo


    Just thought I'd start this on the different things lads are doing 're labour on the farm. More people management than facilities.
    Have a man here 3 days a week, with a neighbour the other 3 days. Obv in spring we could do with a man each full time but this is what works at the minute to give a lad fulltime work with neither of us in a position to hire a man fulltime for a year.
    Most springs when on my own it's milking, calving, calf rearing and stock feeding and then the days he is here the extra jobs get done, cleaning out, fert spreading, etc. and he may take over the calf rearing or feeding the days he is here. Have separate boots and raingear here for him to stop anything going from here to the neighbours and vice versa
    All slurry work bar agitating and pumping to other tanks is contracted out but we get that done before calving.
    How do the rest of ye manage labour? Do ye get lads in for specific jobs or general labour?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,350 ✭✭✭ Waffletraktor


    Mooooo wrote: »
    Just thought I'd start this on the different things lads are doing 're labour on the farm. More people management than facilities.
    Have a man here 3 days a week, with a neighbour the other 3 days. Obv in spring we could do with a man each full time but this is what works at the minute to give a lad fulltime work with neither of us in a position to hire a man fulltime for a year.
    Most springs when on my own it's milking, calving, calf rearing and stock feeding and then the days he is here the extra jobs get done, cleaning out, fert spreading, etc. and he may take over the calf rearing or feeding the days he is here. Have separate boots and raingear here for him to stop anything going from here to the neighbours and vice versa
    All slurry work bar agitating and pumping to other tanks is contracted out but we get that done before calving.
    How do the rest of ye manage labour? Do ye get lads in for specific jobs or general labour?
    You'd know yourself what their about, but asking for their input on what could be done to improve how you run the place. The mindset of planing facilities is as much to make the work labour friendly(important for any farm as labour becomes the big cost) as for livestock, as they'd never have the same commitment? as you/family as it's just a paypacket they get. Divide out the choice and the shyte jobs as no faster way to cause someone to lose interest in your place if they start to fell it's all one way traffic.
    Being organised/plan for what needs to be done that day/week and have the required items to hand rather than waste time going to get it that morning.
    Have the yard tidy and not need to spend 20 minutes looking for something/ rooting it out from rubbish that doesn't need to be there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,003 ✭✭✭ Mooooo


    Good points. Any of the ****tier jobs if at all possible we'd both go at it instead of just getting him or to do it, most can be done by machine now also. Spreading fert is a job he enjoys, particularly in spring as is a break from calves etc. Have a map of the farm in the box of the tractor and once grazing gets going it's a weekly job.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,998 ✭✭✭ visatorro


    Really do think teagasc led with bad advice here with this idea of getting labour for 6 weeks in spring. You've a good setup there moo with sharing the labour imv. You dont have the burden of full wages but still have the help. Used to have a fella milking in the morning. He's gone now and I'm delighted because he wasn't as interested as me but was taken plenty of money from the place.
    Most of the tractor work contracted out. I intend to take parental leave off work for a couple of weeks when calving starts.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,855 ✭✭✭✭ whelan2


    I have a lad does a few mornings a week. He's only over the road. Another lad that does a few milkings but he was diagnosed with cancer before Christmas. He's getting treatment at the minute. Eldest lad helps out before and after college and my dad is around too. I'm getting to an age now were I dont want to be killing myself and need to take more time off. Would love to get someone 3 full days a week.


  • Registered Users Posts: 583 ✭✭✭ 3 the square


    whelan2 wrote: »
    I have a lad does a few mornings a week. He's only over the road. Another lad that does a few milkings but he was diagnosed with cancer before Christmas. He's getting treatment at the minute. Eldest lad helps out before and after college and my dad is around too. I'm getting to an age now were I dont want to be killing myself and need to take more time off. Would love to get someone 3 full days a week.

    Out of interest what would u think it would cost to have someone 3 full days a week??


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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,855 ✭✭✭✭ whelan2


    Out of interest what would u think it would cost to have someone 3 full days a week??

    I had someone for 3 days a week a couple of years ago. So I have a fair idea.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,771 ✭✭✭ Jb1989


    whelan2 wrote: »
    I had someone for 3 days a week a couple of years ago. So I have a fair idea.

    What was it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,855 ✭✭✭✭ whelan2


    Jb1989 wrote: »
    What was it?

    Dont be so nosey



    He got 320 home after all tax etc paid. For 3 days. It would probably be more now


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,386 ✭✭✭✭ Timmaay


    I'm lucky at the point here where the farm can comfortably cover the Labour bill of a parttime lad with the 100 cows, and if I am to push on up towards 140cows which is the medium term aim (other than goddam tb) then I'd want it to pay for a fulltime worker. If them numbers of cows stop being profitable enough to pay for labour then its definitely time for me to get out of farming.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,771 ✭✭✭ Jb1989


    whelan2 wrote: »
    Dont be so nosey



    He got 320 home after all tax etc paid. For 3 days. It would probably be more now

    It's a public forum with a discussion going....


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,003 ✭✭✭ Mooooo


    I tried to get someone to do 2 wkends a month aside from the lad working for me but 2 fell thru and frs seem to be struggling also. Had planned from August on to do this when breedings over and it's just a case of milk and let back out. A possible solution I'm thinking now is to rotate those wkends into the current lads week. i.e he milks Sunday and only does a mornings work during one of the weekdays or one of those days off. Ideally I would still prefer someone else so as to give the regular man his Sundays but it is hard to find anyone particularly for the weekend.

    're the costs putting up FRS rates would be fine but individual lads wages probably better off not unless via pm or perhaps in c/L terms in here. While labour is a cost and must look at it thru business eyes there is a person on the other side who may or may not be on this and may not want there wages stuck up here as well


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,934 ✭✭✭ Gawddawggonnit


    1. You are the boss and must remain that way.
    2. Stay away from negative or pessimistic staff.
    3. Staff must be flexible. Any work that he/she won’t do must be agreed upon from day one.
    4. ‘Large’ personalities must be positive in their attitude because of the influence they have on everybody.
    5. Everyone must be respectful. Bullying can sneak into things fairly easily if you’re not around.
    6. If you need to deal out a bollocking let it drop immediately afterwards...but don’t let it be forgotten.
    7. Make sure that they’re involved in decisions with the day to day work...or at least let them think they are.
    8. Reward excellent work/results.
    9. Timekeeping is everything. Zero tolerance on being late or a no show.
    10. Treat everyone equally.
    11. Don’t ask anyone to do something that your not prepared to do yourself.


    I find that the offer of a veal calf every 6mts works wonders for the general health of calves.
    Likewise trusted drivers can take kit for their own use. Not contracting or hire work!

    Good staff are as scarce as hens teeth, when you find one pay them well and treat them with respect.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,750 ✭✭✭ davidk1394


    From the point of view of the employee and working on many different dairy farms.

    Have the hours and rate of pay agreed day one.

    The places where I worked I got fed and was told the days I wasn't going to be fed, a hot cup of tea and being able to get in out of the cold on a spring day makes a big difference

    A bit of thanks every now and then is appreciated

    If the employee makes a mistake tell them

    If their good and know what their doing leave them work away

    If you need them to work a weekend or few extra hours tell them in advance. If possible

    These are only a few tips from my point of view. I got on well with the farmers I worked with and still working with them on and off.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,358 ✭✭✭ jaymla627


    visatorro wrote: »
    Really do think teagasc led with bad advice here with this idea of getting labour for 6 weeks in spring. You've a good setup there moo with sharing the labour imv. You dont have the burden of full wages but still have the help. Used to have a fella milking in the morning. He's gone now and I'm delighted because he wasn't as interested as me but was taken plenty of money from the place.
    Most of the tractor work contracted out. I intend to take parental leave off work for a couple of weeks when calving starts.

    Alot of seasonal positions on frs that will never be filled, money is massive factor to, expecting seasonal labour to work for minimum wage our a bit above it is a pisstake, especially when lads have their pick of work....
    15 euro a hour minimum would entice alot of lads to do a calving season but at 10 a hour not a hope, the labour issue is a mirror of the calf issue our advisory body never really gave it much thought and of course they give basically free student labour to a select few farms who they then crow about in the media and their efficient system


  • Registered Users Posts: 846 ✭✭✭ Anto_Meath


    Regarding getting lads to do weekend milking, I know two lads in Ballyhaise and they do a good bit on Saturdays and Sundays milking for lads. it can be a handy bit of extra income for them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,003 ✭✭✭ Mooooo


    https://twitter.com/HarvardBiz/status/1223994142587604993?s=19

    Not all applicable to farming but a few good points in the article none the less


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,222 ✭✭✭ naughto


    whelan2 wrote: »
    Dont be so nosey



    He got 320 home after all tax etc paid. For 3 days. It would probably be more now

    107 euro a day is not bad going would that be a 8 hour day


  • Registered Users Posts: 815 ✭✭✭ Sacrolyte


    You should always agree to pay gross amount not net. If the tax credits dry up for whatever reason then the taxes to pay can be quite a high percentage of the gross pay.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,100 ✭✭✭ GrasstoMilk


    Here, we're trying to do as much ourselves with out bringing in outside help. Help is hard got and good reliable help is even harder got

    We've gone solely spring calving to condense that work load and reduce groups. It's a heavy few weeks but I much prefer it that way.

    Bought a calf feeder this year to help with calf rearing, that will come into it's own in the next few weeks. Extra shed will take pressure off our existing shed.

    We've gone contract rearing, delighted with this. We dont have to travel to the outfarm every day to feed there any more and we've a great bunch of incalf heifers calving down this year

    Contracting out alot of the big jobs like slurry and main crops of silage.

    We've twice the stock we had 5 years ago and we'll probably do less hours per cow this year.

    Dad is here aswell and does an awful lot and mam does all the banking or any errands.

    Spent a nice bit on the yard the last few years to make things easier, which they have. One person can do all the cubicles and have all the cows fed in 2 hours. Took the whole day previously


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


    Teagasc are running a program with ideas about becoming more efficient and enjoyable on the farm, if anyone wants to follow them.
    https://twitter.com/teagasc/status/1224801222860976134?s=19


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,540 ✭✭✭ Dickie10


    I have a guy coming to lamb the few sheep i have during the daytime when im at work the hours i want him there are 8-4, just feed a bit of silage , clean out pens and tend to the few that will lamb. Its just i would lose to many when im not there during the day , Im home at 4:20 in evenings and leave for work around 8 am. Im off on mid term the friday they start so i will b around for the first 10 days and the set up will be up and running to show the lad the run of it. I was pricing FRS they said €16 /hour was what you would have to give. i thought that was ok for 8 hours for 10 days its less than 1300.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,854 ✭✭✭ carrollsno1


    Any idea how to go about sorting rates for weekend relief milkings to supplement the main wages? What way does it work with tax credits etc? Cash isnt an option these days like before as i can see. Probably be an hourly rate wed be looking at as saturdays could likely be full days work most of the year. Worked for the man for a good bit before and we get on like a house on fire but ive been wondering is it going to be worth while doing it if im going to be taxed to the balls and maybe only left with €50 for a weekend after tax.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,608 ✭✭✭ enricoh


    Just say you want x amount cash per milking. If he says no go to the next lad. You won't have to go to too many!

    Dunno what part of the country you are in but getting a fella to do milking at the weekend is a miracle around here!


  • Registered Users Posts: 389 ✭✭ Panjandrums


    If your close to the higher tax threshold, I would put an amount into a pension to bring you under so then the weekend work wont be taxed at higher rate.

    Plenty of directors that take the 36,000 odd at the lower tax rate and then put the rest into their pensions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,854 ✭✭✭ carrollsno1


    Oh we all know about scarcity of workers here thats for sure i think i was gone for 6 months before he found a replacement when i left to go travel (i gave 6 months notice aswell).
    I might look into FRS to see what way theyd work it if i went through them.
    The monday to friday work will be an apprenticeship wage so likely under €300/pw for the first year.
    I used to get the equivalant of €50 cash for an evenings milking out here any day of the week as it was good for both of us as any money as a PAYE worker here youre employer has to legally contribute 9.5% to youre pension fund.
    No such thing as tax credits here either just youre tax file number and you just file a return at the end of the year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,222 ✭✭✭ naughto


    Do ye have to provide sick pay or is it no work no pay


  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭ Mrtm17


    So what's the average wage 15-16 euro an hour?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,854 ✭✭✭ carrollsno1


    Mrtm17 wrote: »
    So what's the average wage 15-16 euro an hour?

    Was getting €10 after tax flat rate breakfast and dinner provided as much hours as i wanted, have one friend gettting €12 after tax paid holidays dinner amd breakfast included and not hectic with hours all depends on the farmer and the worker i think FRS pay €11/€12/hr after tax. 0n the last job out here i was on $28/hr unlimited hrs to a point accomadation included power excluded current job is a 96hr fortnight full entitlements (holiday pay etc) and $1960AUD after tax and rent are deducted those last two jobs are only subject to 15% tax as well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,750 ✭✭✭ davidk1394


    What would diary farmers pay for experienced farm labour per hour ? A few local farmers asked would I work for them. Mainly at milking times, roughly 4 hours a day.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,855 ✭✭✭✭ whelan2


    davidk1394 wrote: »
    What would diary farmers pay for experienced farm labour per hour ? A few local farmers asked would I work for them. Mainly at milking times, roughly 4 hours a day.

    I'm paying 15 euro per hour for similar help


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