agCap has worked with several clients in 2019 and 2020. In the following instances, agCap was heavily involved in the day to day running of the businesses and supplied 24/7 support to managers and their farm teams.
1. South Western Victoria dairy farmer:
Milking 600 cows
Pasture based annual calving farming system
Issues? Over the past four or so years, various events had resulted in a shift to the start of calving one month later than desired and the calving period had spread out to five months.
Solution –agCap focused on shifting the calving pattern to better align with the pasture growth curve for the farm.
This graph shows the effect of tightening the calving period and aligning it with potential pasture growth for the farm’s environment. We have used monthly rainfall as a proxy for pasture growth.
In low stocked, pasture-based farms we must ensure that cows are consuming as much pasture as possible throughout the growing season.
Consuming more pasture and producing more milk solids from direct grazed pasture lowered the cost of production.
Total farm income increased and total costs including the investment in agCap services were reduced resulting in a substantial profit increase from FY2019 to FY2020.
The challenge for this business is to bring the start of calving forward by a further two weeks and maintain a calving period of less than ten weeks.
Achieving results in one year is one thing, replicating and maintaining these results will require constant attention to detail and hard work.
2. South West Western Australia dairy business:
5 dairy farms
Milking a total of 3,100 cows
Pasture based farming system
agCap focused on:
Stabilising the farming system
Recruiting farm managers who were willing to be accountable and accept responsibility for their on-farm teams
Identifying opportunities to create a sustainable profit margin
Negotiating contracts & costs with suppliers
Particularly in a large-scale dairy business, the on-farm managers need to have a clear focus; they should be aligned with business owner and be committed to achieve results.
The new managers recruited by agCap assisted this business to improve milk quality which resulted in a higher milk price. The following graphic shows the year on year milk quality improvement.
Sustainable profit was driven by both sides of the equation: income AND costs.
In FY2020, agCap was able to assist this business to:
Increase milk production
Decrease feed costs
Maintain employment costs
Decrease total costs (including agCap fees), and therefore
Increase profit substantially from FY2019
The challenge for this business is to build from this platform. The goals for FY2021 should be to increase milk production/quality whilst further decreasing feed costs by increasing home grown pasture consumption and improving supplementary feeding efficiencies/buying costs.