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.

  • Seasonal advice and checklists


    NEW - Dealing with lower quality forages over summer (PDF, 404K)

    Wet winter and spring conditions across south-eastern Australia have presented additional challenges this summer. Sustaining milk production on diets with low
    quality forages may be difficult. This fact sheet explores these challenges and how to deal with them.

    NEW - Tips to manage dairy cows through the summer (PDF, 602KB)

    This fact sheet provides information on topics including nutritionally balanced diets, grazing residuals, and milking and feeding times.

    Tactics for Summer checklist (PDF, 951KB)

    Summer is on the way, despite the long wet winter and cool springin south-east Australia. This is always a good time to check in on your plans and revisit farm budgets, both financial and feed.

    Silage in wet weather (PDF, 689KB)

    This year, extended wet periods have resulted in many pastures becoming long and rank, unable to be grazed or cut, affecting the quality of the silage produced and the ability of the paddocks to recover. This fact sheet covers considerations when cutting silage this year and managing paddocks after they are cut.

    Tactics for Spring checklist (PDF, 1009KB)

    This checklist aims to assist you through the process of maximising what you can grow, graze and conserve and taking a ‘pasture first’ approach, particularly through spring, which will be essential in adapting your business to the lower milk price. Links to relevant fact sheets, videos and tools that can assist your decision making are also provided.

    Preparing for 2016-17 checklist (PDF, 618KB)
    This checklist aims to assist you through the process of planning for the new financial year in a very challenging environment. Links to relevant fact sheets, videos and tools that can assist your decision making are also provided.

    Managing wet soils (PDF, 595KB)
    Grazing of waterlogged paddocks can result in serious ‘pugging’ damage to pastures and soils. This damage can reduce pasture utilisation by up to 50%, and reduce pasture yields by 20–80% over the following four to eight months. Click above to learn more.

    Why fertiliser management is a hot topic this spring (PDF, 627KB)
    In tight times, trimming unnecessary costs is important. Reviewing fertiliser requirements is one area that is an important process, ensuring costs are justified and provide a benefit to the business. Unnecessary or inefficient use of fertilisers affects profit.

  • Knowing your situation


    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


    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, 353KB)
    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, 824KB)
    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, 879KB)
    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