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

  1. #61
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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowabunga View Post
    That made me laugh out loud! You are right of course, it is a lifestyle choice. And what a lifestyle choice it is!
    Well that's what Johnny Rotten says

  2. #62
    Senior Member Cowabunga's Avatar
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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Yep, nobody forces us any more than anyone forces men to become priests kiddy-fiddlers, criminals or suicide bombers.
    The Duck 2015

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

    Here is a good question to answer if you are considering dairy....

    What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing away from work?

    Answer carefully then I'll tell you if Dairy'ing is for you! :-)

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

    I would love to write an expansive answer but I'll just reduce it to this.

    'Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?'

    If you had to ask, but at the same time know enough about it to pose the question, then you more than likely know the answer yourself anyway. When your gut isn't sure, you should always pay attention to it.

  5. #65
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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    A robot merely extracts milk. Just like a combine is used to cut corn. But it doesn't drill, cultivate or grow the stuff.
    True - but the "brains" behind the arm do a bit more than that - it is just a matter of how you use the information it gives you.

    Next it will be driveless tractors .. ...

  6. #66
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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?
    Well having been to Holland this week 16/4/13 I had the pleasure of being shown round a new dairy unit operated by the Toonder Family the unit is half a mile se of Heers a nice green square field to the sw of the road this has been transformed into a dairy unit for 280 cows zero grazed if only you could see this plus I am sure there are others around the world even the outside roads are block paved. The cost I was told for the building was 1.2M euro it is all under one roof with roller shutter ventilation control and an insulated roof very steep pitch.

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

    Just Dont go buy a robot and 60 cows like this post suggests!

    That's Probably Best part of 250K Plus everything else you need....

    Then look at the max possible return from 60 cows.... Unless you own the farm outright, have plenty of kit already, this would be madness, probably a better ideal to put the money into bricks and morter!!

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

    Could not give a monkeys how much a dairy unit cost, at the end of the day buildings and infrastructure are only worth what you can earn from them.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    Could not give a monkeys how much a dairy unit cost, at the end of the day buildings and infrastructure are only worth what you can earn from them.
    Same as most Lottery Winners - until it's run out hey!!

    Ever heard of return on investment? Unless you REALLY WANT to go Dairying there are a million better ROIs that dont force you to a 24/7 job... :-)

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

    What are thease better ROI then? On a good setup block calving farm i would think that dairy would give a good profit ( dont know about high yielding and robots etc, no experience of them) but i would say that there are a lot of worse things to get into than dairy!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Headless chicken View Post
    It's more than a job. It's a lifestyle choice. If you've got the drive and determination to make it work then that's half the battle.
    The other half is made up of deep pockets & long arms

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Courier View Post
    The other half is made up of deep pockets & long arms

    Well, I am from Ceredigion so have deep pockets and short arms...that helps

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Einstien View Post
    Same as most Lottery Winners - until it's run out hey!!

    Ever heard of return on investment? Unless you REALLY WANT to go Dairying there are a million better ROIs that dont force you to a 24/7 job... :-)
    I know someone who is making a good enough living from dairying and they don't even own their farm. He would say what are people moaning about?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    I know someone who is making a good enough living from dairying and they don't even own their farm. He would say what are people moaning about?
    easier to make a good return on capital if you are renting. we have been making 8% return on capital for the last number of years we own about 2/3 of our total area would agree some of our off farm ventures have been paying more. but the dairy unit funded these in the first place so why do without the cash cow? Block calve is my only offering to the OP when they do it is up to them .the arguement about everybody spring calving is tedious when your block is is up to the farm/farmers and milk buyers preference. quality of life/hrs worked i would venture is much better when block calving.

    lazy

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

    I agree - I never said you couldn't make a living - I do get a small return from my Dairy Unit, BUT just saying I wouldn't do it as a Business Venture unless you really WANT to do it as the return on other things I have money in is much higher!!! And you can't ignore the obvious things like go buy a house and rent it out - probably less capital investment and a greater return with little to no work involved!!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Einstien View Post
    I agree - I never said you couldn't make a living - I do get a small return from my Dairy Unit, BUT just saying I wouldn't do it as a Business Venture unless you really WANT to do it as the return on other things I have money in is much higher!!! And you can't ignore the obvious things like go buy a house and rent it out - probably less capital investment and a greater return with little to no work involved!!

    you see thats were i would disagree the current returns from housing outside the south east would suggest that house prices are flat at best and in this age of austerity will stay that way for some considerble period so no capital uplift and if the OP was to use his capital as deposits then rents will cover mortage repayments well enough but repairs and fees ? i wonder . well run dairying has the beauty of throwing off free cash year in and year out i seriously don't see why the OP can't be doing both a career he seems interested in and off farm investment the two arent mutually exclusive. Final point if the OP wasn't doing a structured job of what ever variety wouldn't he/she being spending money rather than creating wealth?

    lazy

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

    Your only looking at the short term capital gain on the housing market - I'm comparing putting 150K of your cash into a Dairy Farm or a House.... Rent the House round here you'll get circa 650 poss more every month and pocket way over 500.... Try investing 150k in Dairying (which is peanuts - you would probably have to invest double in reality) and you may well pocket a few quid each month, but you will work your ass off!

    No comparison in Financial Terms trust me!!

    If you enjoy and Want to Dairy then its a different matter!!

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

    i bow to your greater financial/farming expertise

    lazy

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

    If you have the drive and motivation and a love for cows, go for it! but you have to be commited to the cause and prepared not to get much reward financially!

    Good Luck! the industry needs some keen young blood!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by labrador View Post
    If you have the drive and motivation and a love for cows, go for it! but you have to be commited to the cause and prepared not to get much reward financially!

    Good Luck! the industry needs some keen young blood!

    Why? Often said but never justified. It is a business, pure and simple and 'need' is usually expressed as a shortage of a commodity and profitability. I see no particular need for more milk producers and probably a need for far fewer, no matter what the age profile.
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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowabunga View Post
    Why? Often said but never justified. It is a business, pure and simple and 'need' is usually expressed as a shortage of a commodity and profitability. I see no particular need for more milk producers and probably a need for far fewer, no matter what the age profile.
    Surely all business needs new blood. New ideas and new enthusiasm equals rejuvenation. Dont want to ruffle your feathers but you probably need replacing !
    Keen new entrants will hasten your decision probably

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

    Quote Originally Posted by linga View Post
    Surely all business needs new blood. New ideas and new enthusiasm equals rejuvenation. Dont want to ruffle your feathers but you probably need replacing !
    Keen new entrants will hasten your decision probably
    Think he might be quite a tough old bird and that sort of thing won't ruffle the ducks feathers much!

    Interesting point about new blood. Often raised when farmers can't find the services they used to have around e.g. smaller livestock hauliers who just retire, often their sons and daughters go owner driving, on something bigger and cleaner

  23. #83
    Senior Member Cowabunga's Avatar
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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    The 'industry' is a collection of small businesses. By definition an 'industry' can't 'need'. It can only provide opportunities, or not, according to prevailing economic circumstances. If there are opportunities, someone will exploit them. If not, the industry will adapt.

    This oft quoted need for young blood is just emotional tripe. Nothing to do with business.
    The Duck 2015

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

    industry needs new ideas and enthusiasm in order to adapt to new opportunities....not necessarily young blood but new enthusiasm/ideas. If the current business is able to adapt then thats fine but often it is seen how older comfortably numb businesses effectively block progress. I would admit though that not all progress is good.

  25. #85
    Senior Member Cowabunga's Avatar
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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Quote Originally Posted by linga View Post
    industry needs new ideas and enthusiasm in order to adapt to new opportunities....not necessarily young blood but new enthusiasm/ideas. If the current business is able to adapt then thats fine but often it is seen how older comfortably numb businesses effectively block progress. I would admit though that not all progress is good.

    Again I have to say that what the industry needs is profitability to sustain itself. There is no shortage of people willing to sustain or even enter the industry given the opportunity. It is a very capital intensive mature industry with lower returns dictating a continuous slow consolidation and decline in producer numbers. That is not about to change and indeed the trend is accelerating with fewer, larger herds. The trend is no different now than since when milking machines were introduced to allow better productivity and ultimately lower viable farmgate milk prices about a century ago.

    There is no shortage of dairy farmers and no shortage of milk production.
    The Duck 2015

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

    Page 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowabunga View Post
    Go for it. The industry needs new blood with new ideas.
    Page 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowabunga View Post
    Why? Often said but never justified. It is a business, pure and simple and 'need' is usually expressed as a shortage of a commodity and profitability. I see no particular need for more milk producers and probably a need for far fewer, no matter what the age profile.
    ???

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

    I dont think I was arguing that there was a shortage of dairy farmers nor milk production.
    I agree that the industry needs profitability to sustain itself but I think that people with enthusiasm and ideas are often better able to seek ways to achieve profitability than some of the older generation who may have lost that youthful enthusiasm and indeed capacity.
    By the way is there any evidence that larger herds are more profitable and what indeed is a larger herd?
    I am not making any point here its a genuine question

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Einstien View Post
    Your only looking at the short term capital gain on the housing market - I'm comparing putting 150K of your cash into a Dairy Farm or a House.... Rent the House round here you'll get circa 650 poss more every month and pocket way over 500.... Try investing 150k in Dairying (which is peanuts - you would probably have to invest double in reality) and you may well pocket a few quid each month, but you will work your ass off!

    No comparison in Financial Terms trust me!!

    If you enjoy and Want to Dairy then its a different matter!!
    I think my dad would count the cows less stressful than his tenants!!

    I don't see how milking can be so much more of a tie than looking after any other livestock properly, if you want more free time surely a relief milker could be brought in for a milking or two each week or even more often.

    There is more routine, you get up early and you know what has to be done and get on with it. If you keep sensible and don't get too carried away with finance you can make a few pound at it, no point working your life for the bank!!

    Of course there is better ways to make money, but is there anything in farming were you could say you couldn't make more else were?? Imo its more important to be happy at what you are at and enjoy your work, rather than having money rule your life!

  29. #89
    Senior Member Cowabunga's Avatar
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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Selectamatic View Post
    Page 1



    Page 3



    ???
    Perhaps the sarcasm in the first post was even more subtle than intended.

    If the op can justify it as a business proposition, fine, go ahead. If not it should end there.
    The Duck 2015

  30. #90
    Senior Member Cowabunga's Avatar
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    Re: Considering going into milk production. Am I mad?

    Quote Originally Posted by linga View Post
    I dont think I was arguing that there was a shortage of dairy farmers nor milk production.
    I agree that the industry needs profitability to sustain itself but I think that people with enthusiasm and ideas are often better able to seek ways to achieve profitability than some of the older generation who may have lost that youthful enthusiasm and indeed capacity.
    By the way is there any evidence that larger herds are more profitable and what indeed is a larger herd?
    I am not making any point here its a genuine question

    They have to be profitable enough to survive and re-invest and provide a good return for investors. Trends would suggest that many in the industry have always chased output and greater turnover to achieve higher profits and those that stagnate and do not do so eventually find that they cannot make a living from it let alone re-invest to achieve higher standards of production.

    In an ideal business scenario an individual business would aim to grow by an average of five to ten percent a year in terms of output. But in a small family business like farming [on the whole] there tends to be stages of development depending on family circumstances. The younger generation, full of youthful enthusiasm, might grow the business rapidly given the chance. Later on and if they don't have too many children of their own or not have any successors, the business might consolidate for a number of years. If a couple of families and dependants are involved, it might motivate continuous expansion in order to eventually split the business into two or more independent farms.
    The ones without the motivation might well move from the consolidation phase to a period of decline as they get older unless they have other interests.

    That is the general pattern of family farm business. There is always the occasional bit of 'new money' of course. Even today there is some new money investing profits earned from inheritance or some other business or commercial ventures, or chance money, into agriculture. There is no established easy way for a cash-strapped young entrant to enter such a capital intensive industry but I venture to suggest that it is not as big a challenge as for such entrants into steel making or car manufacturing.
    The Duck 2015

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