22 May 1998


As plunging milk returns eat into financial reserves, it would be easy to take our eyes off the management ball. True, only enterprises that manage their assets effectively can hope to remain in business – see what one of the UKs leading advisers suggests in this Update.

That said, the best producers will farm their way out of trouble. Our Focus Farmers already set the pace – most notably by taking radical steps to increase their use of grazed grass, and particularly by extending the grazing season.

Inevitably, nature seems to have done her best to frustrate good intentions by delivering some of the nastiest turn-out weather for many seasons. But the best producers management plans, and their investment in paddocks and track-ways, will be there to pay a dividend next autumn, and next spring.

Others are committed to even higher levels of investment, expressing in the most effective way their own confidence in the future and their ability to ride whatever it throws at them.

We also describe technical developments offering solutions to some critical management concerns – mastitis control, effective use of conserved feed, meeting the new criteria for parlour equipment. Not all the ideas described involve spending money.

Two of the most topical – new thinking on buffer feeding and the steps to take to avoid the toll of summer mastitis – can be set in hand right away, at little or no cost.

Lets get on with it…

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