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Thread: your most profitable move for the year?

  1. #1

    Default your most profitable move for the year?

    It helps when people share there ideas and experiences, one person cant think of everything on there own. So, is there something you have done that stands out that has made your bottom line look better? For example, this past year I started buying commodities by the truck load and cut out the feed company. Saving about 20% on grain costs. Another idea I've done is I have an emergency fence so I can put my milkers out to the grass when help done show, feed equipment breaks down, Im sick ect....

    Have you got any ideas to share?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Southern Ontario
    Posts
    129

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    Making and selling home decor. Seriously. It's easily the most profitable thing I've ever done. My wife and I have a pretty good side business going on. You'd be surprised what people will pay for all that old lumber that was just going to the burn pile anyways...

    On the farm side of things...selling surplus fresh heifers. I know a lot of people will say heifer raising ties up too much cash but it's been great for me. Breed them to sexed semen, calve them out, repeat. As mentioned in a thread below, they're fetching some pretty stupid prices up here.

    Next one that I'm hoping will be profitable is eliminating alfalfa. I'm hesitant to use more of our cash crop acres for the dairy so I don't grow any alfalfa. Corn silage, rye, and and oat/pea mix are our preferred forages. Rye is seeded after corn silage and baled and wrapped in the spring before seeding beans. Oats/peas is seeded after wheat and baled in late September. We were buying in dry hay but just recently eliminated that. I can grow other forages at a third of the cost alfalfa.


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  3. #3

    Default

    Only raised 20 heifers, about half.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    De Pere, WI
    Posts
    3,587

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    Doubling my barn, new dry cow facilities, retroed the old dry cow for calf barn and retro work in heifers facilities as well as a new no-till drill. Lots of capital improvement that makes life easier and better as well as better for the animals. Spreading my fixed costs over even more animals has significantly lowered my COP. The drill means now I don't do spring or fall tillage which is a huge time saver for me though now I'm planting cover crops instead in the fall. Three nice thing about that is we go faster and don't really care about being precise. My corn planter was already no-till.
    DiederichFarm
    "You are only as good as your next success, not your last" Sir Jock Stirrup

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    South West Victoria , Australia
    Posts
    1,504

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    Switching processor at the beginning of the financial year in July . That combined with the up tick in prices received has made a large difference . Milking only an extra 15 head and keeping all costs under control .

    We're currently about halfway through the process of a subdivision of around three acres with a second house on the farm . Expecting that to add about 200k in value ( cost of doing all of what's required will be about 30 k)

    Also building a new machinery shed so stuff isn't sitting out so much in the weather .
    "Those people who say they have no time for bodily exercise will soon have to find time for illness ". Joseph Pilates

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Lynden Washington
    Posts
    270

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    Cow comfort and cow flow improvements are always good. Makes your life and employees and cows lives easier.

    Of late....bought 250 cows and after 48 hours realized oh crap this is not going to work like we thought EVER. Sold 100 for 300 more than we paid...may sell more even. Man....wth were we thinking? God is def saying "HEY, THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    358

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    Quote Originally Posted by Troydairy View Post
    Cow comfort and cow flow improvements are always good. Makes your life and employees and cows lives easier.

    Of late....bought 250 cows and after 48 hours realized oh crap this is not going to work like we thought EVER. Sold 100 for 300 more than we paid...may sell more even. Man....wth were we thinking? God is def saying "HEY, THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA"
    At least you made a little on the resale of the cows it could of been the opposite.

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Sumas, Wa
    Posts
    250

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    Quote Originally Posted by Troydairy View Post
    Cow comfort and cow flow improvements are always good. Makes your life and employees and cows lives easier.

    Of late....bought 250 cows and after 48 hours realized oh crap this is not going to work like we thought EVER. Sold 100 for 300 more than we paid...may sell more even. Man....wth were we thinking? God is def saying "HEY, THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA"
    If it's the group as of last week I been hearing you bought. Your lucky. Friday I heard dealers can't find buyers with $13.ish milk coming...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Central Valley California
    Posts
    430

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    Quote Originally Posted by cpridge View Post
    If it's the group as of last week I been hearing you bought. Your lucky. Friday I heard dealers can't find buyers with $13.ish milk coming...
    Yeah I buy all my replacements and I'm getting a lot of calls. They get cheaper with every call.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Lynden Washington
    Posts
    270

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    Quote Originally Posted by cpridge View Post
    If it's the group as of last week I been hearing you bought. Your lucky. Friday I heard dealers can't find buyers with $13.ish milk coming...
    Yep, we bought them and got the BASE and all young stock for fair price. Jockey is getting 300 more and picking some of them and some of our to go N. Uncles place we were going to use till get VMS barn going is WAY to labor inefficient for a 6m low price swing. Milkers are tired too. We all figured (them too) it would be a quick 120 in 2 hr lights on and off. So far now they are coming in well it's 2 hours 2 guys 100hd of late lac cows. Takes frikin 25-30 min to scrape even! Better cut and run we think. After paying for getting parlor going and extra labor we'll be about even I am afraid but not draining. Some times things on paper look ok till put in operation. An I am not going to try to "make it work" when after 6 day it is pretty obvious it aint. I know I was wrong. Explained to banker and he was on board too. Best keep the LOC up for the next 4 months. IF the VMS plans all work there will be cattle out there for low cost later and we still have the BASE since we shipped it. And it feels like one of us is on vacation with 4 sites for drys and milking. If uncles was 300 and 3-4 hours we'd get a new crew (maybe...if they exist) and go but unphdah. Jockey said he cant imagine the Canadian will pay more next month.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Sumas, Wa
    Posts
    250

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    You've been trying to fire off a second farm for years finally do it and can't keep your foot on the gas��

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