Fact sheets

Dairy Australia's Tactics for Tight Times fact sheets take you through a process to help you understand your current position and plan ahead for the 2016/17 season.

Click on the relevant folder below to download your 2016 Tactics for Tight Times facts sheets.

  • Knowing your situation


    Heat Stress
    Heat stress can strike at unexpected times. Learn how milk production, cell count and milk protein were affected by high temperatures last November in Victoria and how you can better manage heat stress at www.coolcows.com.au and read the Feeling the heat factsheet (PDF, 151KB).

    Taking stock of your situation (PDF, 355KB)
    With the continuing tough seasonal conditions and the recent milk price announcements, the majority of south eastern Australian dairy farmers will be facing challenging operating conditions for the foreseeable future. While every farm situation is unique, this fact sheet is designed to help you understand your current position and start to plan ahead.

    Meeting the bank - are you prepared? (PDF, 560KB)
    With lower milk prices anticipated next season, a good farmer-banker relationship has never been more important. This fact sheet has been adapted from information provided by DairyNZ, and provides advice on the importance of meeting with your bank manager and how to get the most out of the meeting.

    Calculating your break-even milk price (PDF, 616KB)
    Understanding the total cash demands on your business as a total $ value and as $ per kgMS basis is essential in a cash constrained environment. Click above to learn more.

  • Planning your cash flow and feed budget


    Feed budgeting (PDF, 580KB)
    How much feed do you actually need to buy? During these tight times it is more important than ever to do a feed budget and to ensure that you know what quantities of feed to buy each month to produce the monthly volumes of milk required to generate budgeted milk income and profit.

    Budgeting tools (PDF, 555KB)
    Dairy Australia has budgeting tools available that will assist dairy farmers and their advisers in planning and decision making, especially heading into the new financial year. Click above to learn more.

  • Maximising value from home grown and purchased feed


    Dealing with lower quality forages over summer (PDF, 412KB)

    Given the wet conditions throughout some dairy areas last winter and spring, forage quality will be extremely variable this summer, and in general of low quality. Sustaining milk production on diets with low quality forages may be difficult. This fact sheet provides ideas as to how to deal with these challenges.    

    Tips to manage dairy cows through the summer (PDF, 610KB)

    Throughout summer, maintaining the milk production from your cows may be challenging for many reasons. Tips on managing heat and feed quality and quantity are provided in this fact sheet. 

    Planning your feeding program (PDF, 330KB)
    Most dairy farms are dealing with a shortage of pasture and home-grown conserved forages and are considering what feeds they should buy to milk their herds through periods of low growth. Click above to learn more.

    Building a feed wedge (PDF, 185KB)
    High pasture consumption is integral to profitable dairy farming and is a key profit driver. One low cost tactic to assist in reducing feed costs is establishing a feed wedge. Click above to learn more.

    Nitrogen timing and rates (PDF, 560KB)
    As rotations shorten in response to faster growth rates it becomes more important to get the timing right as the ideal window to maximise response narrows. This is also where the nitrogen rate should be reduced accordingly

    Winter nitrogen (PDF, 253KB)
    Effective use of nitrogen can be a relatively cheap source of additional winter feed. Pasture responses to N in autumn/winter are less than you would usually expect in spring due to decreasing soil temperatures. However, strategic N applications can boost winter pasture covers and assist in setting up a pasture wedge for the following spring.

    Winter management (PDF, 433KB)
    Successful winter management requires planning, monitoring and taking action. This checklist will help you formulate a plan for winter, with information to help you make sound business decisions.

    Optimising feeding decisions (PDF, 560KB)
    Feed cost decisions in a low milk price year are likely to be based on the “margins” that can be created and individual attitudes to spending and risk. The concept of creating “margin” relates to the question, “Am I willing to spend more, usually on supplements, but also on inputs such as fertiliser, to make a bit or a lot more money from an anticipated increase in production?”

    Managing the spring surplus (PDF, 567KB)
    During this spring, with fodder reserves low on most farms, conservation of the surplus feed grown will be a high priority. Conserving the true surplus is an effective approach to managing spring pastures as well as being able to fill feed gaps later.

    Winter management of ryegrass pastures (PDF, 181KB)
    Maximizing home grown feed consumption is well proven to improve farm profit and cash flow by reducing supplementary feed costs and/ or increasing milk production.  Using best practice grazing management principles is one method of increasing pasture utilisation.  Click above to learn more.



  • Dairy Farm Business Analysis Fact Sheet series

    Come back soon to access a number of useful dairy farm business analysis fact sheets