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Thread: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

  1. #1

    Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    A per the title, is milk production viable these days?

    I have 160 ac in one block, with other land available for silage.

    Would need to invest in Parlour, cubicles slurry storage and cows.

    Is it worth persuing?

  2. #2
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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    As your name we think?

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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Yea go for it lol

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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    I sold my second hand parlour 3yrs ago when we put new one in to a beef farmer who said "I've done the figures and there's easy money in milk, it can't be any harder than suckler cows anyway", I'd love to know what his attitude is now?

    Go for if you think you can justify the investment costs, but personally we milk 230cows and I wouldn't consider starting out in the industry with the current climate!

    Good luck

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    Senior Member Cowabunga's Avatar
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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Go for it. The industry needs new blood with new ideas.
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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Mad!!no,go for it.easy life.sure some call it a jail without bars.

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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    I am going to do the same , I am fed up with negitive thinking of some dairy farmers ,In NZ I seen plenty of farmers go throm sheep to dairy no negitive thinking there like hear. Going to set up a 300 cow nz unite in the next 3 years

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    Senior Member fergieman's Avatar
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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    There's a man not far from me that is putting in a robot and buying 60 cows.

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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    As auld fella says Dairy is x2 work as suckling as buisy all year not just calving and few other days of year/Tin hat on
    Are you good at growing grass? can you improve your practices, grass measuring?
    It will take many years to get the herd where you want it if buying in as no one sells they're best replacements, just be VERY VERY careful you don't by in any disease etc to lenghten this period of time.

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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    its worth persuing if youve won the lottery, otherwise i wouldnt bother............unless your mad

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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    one near hear rumoured to be buying 10!! brand new startup on green field site. How the hell he'll compete with the irish in 2015 god only knows.

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    Senior Member Huffy's Avatar
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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Best of luck!!
    You dont need to be mad, but it helps if you are already

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    Senior Member wellington53's Avatar
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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thick Farmer View Post
    A per the title, is milk production viable these days?

    I have 160 ac in one block, with other land available for silage.

    Would need to invest in Parlour, cubicles slurry storage and cows.

    Is it worth persuing?
    What has given you the incentive to start milking, I admire anyone who wants to start milking cows but can you handle the commitment?
    Another question, what about milk quota, is it that cheap now that it's not a problem? very interesting.

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    Senior Member Sam_TM's Avatar
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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Have you milked cows before?
    Or does it just look like a good idea from a distance? (who on earth has given him that impression! )

    Do you plan to milk them all yourself? 24/7? Robot?
    Intensive, all singing all dancing, housed all year round?
    Or a 'let the cows do the work' NZ type grazing system?

    What system has come up trumps in your calculations?
    British Farming Forum on Facebook - www.facebook.com/groups/BritishFarmingForum

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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thick Farmer View Post
    A per the title, is milk production viable these days?

    I have 160 ac in one block, with other land available for silage.

    Would need to invest in Parlour, cubicles slurry storage and cows.

    Is it worth persuing?
    There are plenty of people making a good living out of milk but there are plenty that aren't. The key question is whether you are cpcpble of making the enterprise perform as it should 7 days a week, cos that is what you will need to do.

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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam_TM View Post
    Have you milked cows before?
    Or does it just look like a good idea from a distance? (who on earth has given him that impression! )
    ?
    Thats what I was thinking

    Dad gave up milking in 1980, but after SLOM we started again in 89
    and have no plans to stop

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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Yes if you have the knowledge. If you don't, go and get the experience first or rent the farm to a share milker etc who knows what they are at.

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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    I recently visited a farm where they went into dairy production 5 years ago in response to the changes from headage payment on bull beef to SPS and cos the son wanted to milk. They own the farm and had good buildings to start with and are in a good grass growing area.

    They have made a really good go of it - they planned on 250 milkers and are now expanding to 300. The key to their success (other than their good starting point), they went in with a completely open mind and were determined to learn properly. They looked at lots of parlours and visited lots of farms. They measure and cost everything. They also worked incredibly hard. They went - and still do - to loads of meetings, joined their local DCo discussion group, acquired practically every DCo tool/book, went miles to Open meetings etc etc. They are not on a supermarket contract. Their neighbours thought they were mad but they are now more successful than most of the neighbours, a lot of whom never go to any meetings/training events and always do what they have done for the last 20 years. They are now looking at buying another farm and setting up a second unit. So it can be done.

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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    If you are keen on the NZ system, and are happy to crank out milk for 12ppl in cost, then you already have an advantage if you own your land. Plenty are managing and they are only tenants.

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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    There's a fortune to be made in milk.

    Just keep your capital costs down like I do!


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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    you might laugh at that picture as i do. but unless you can get a very good contract then that pretty much sums the whole job up.

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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    you will need to get out there and speak to the people who are willling to talk about there business in a open manner (not pub talk) they are out there. you will need assertain how each business is making a profit, because for each business the key profit drivers will not be the same.

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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thick Farmer View Post
    A per the title, is milk production viable these days?

    I have 160 ac in one block, with other land available for silage.

    Would need to invest in Parlour, cubicles slurry storage and cows.

    Is it worth persuing?
    I would think at the end of the day it depends on how much you love milking cows if you love it you will probably pull it off if you have any glimmer of doubt about that life style stop now before its to late, it is a hell of a commitment bigger than marrage lol

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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    3 guys i know of all in there twentys have all started to milk this last 6months, one with 40 cows, one 27 and one with 31. i think they are mad

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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Self suffeincy is it?

  26. #26

    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam_TM View Post
    Have you milked cows before?
    Or does it just look like a good idea from a distance? (who on earth has given him that impression! )

    Do you plan to milk them all yourself? 24/7? Robot?
    Intensive, all singing all dancing, housed all year round?
    Or a 'let the cows do the work' NZ type grazing system?

    What system has come up trumps in your calculations?
    I milked cows until 2004 when Dad decided he'd had enough of it. I've been running a beef and cereal unit ever since, but the weather of late isn't conducive to cereal production in this area!

    The farm is relatively early and free draining so lends itself to a spring calving, milk from grass system.

  27. #27

    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Quote Originally Posted by hillybill View Post
    I would think at the end of the day it depends on how much you love milking cows if you love it you will probably pull it off if you have any glimmer of doubt about that life style stop now before its to late, it is a hell of a commitment bigger than marrage lol
    Already married and that seem ok!

  28. #28
    Senior Member Bald Rick's Avatar
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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Go for it ...BUT first of all find out who your local buyers are and talk to them. Then once you are happy that you can sell the stuff, money! - if you can get the banks to support you as long term (& money is at its cheapest just about) , of all the sectors for a small to mid size farm in a good grass area, dairy will give the most profit BUT start up & running costs are by far the greatest. Know how you are going to run the cows so you don't fall between two stools. Quota is worth buying as an insurance against anything EU may do post 2015 and your buyer is likely to request that you do have some in any case - costs less than 1ppl. Also, think about robots if not following a NZ type system as they do remove at least a labour unit and free up much more time for whatever you want to do

  29. #29

    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    We have taken the plunge this year and are set to go back into milk this autumn.

    The best thing anyone said to us was keep cost down. You can add it later but it's very difficult to take it away.

    Make the system simple BUT don't just chuck in any crappy little parlour. If your going to spend your life in it make sure it's somewhere you want to be and enjoy being!
    Best of luck to you!

  30. #30
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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    go for it, good dairy farmers will always make lots of money, just dont expect to have any free time to spend it

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