Once a day milking

I've now completed my first full year of oad milking.

We went oad on 1st nov 2019, dried off mid dec 2019 and calved in 1st feb 2020 and milk oad for the full season.

To date we have averaged 4199 litres at 4.83 bf and 3.77 pro so 361kg solids per cow. I've fed just over 500kg conc which has cost me just over 3ppl. I think there is scope to cut conc use but I do use it as a comfort blanket!

Scc has been much lower than expected, well below 100 in early lactation and even now around 170 but dry of is only weeks aways. Had a few cases of mastitis early lactation but nothing all summer and autumn. Cow health is incredible and feet noticeably better.

6 week in calf rate is higher, tighter block overall and more incalf to the point I now have cows to sell.

Obviously feed costs were the biggest saving but I've seen small savings across all variable cost even though we are carrying 20% more cows. Made a similar cash surplus to previous years on tad.

Did 24hr grazing allocations so that cut a huge amount of fencer moving out and made the platform much easier to manage.

2 cows got culled out of 200. One with chronic mastitis and the other went fat and dried herself of in october, she made £1045 as a cull so not all bad!

So in summary it's gone bloody well for my first year oad with a bunch of british fr's!
Excellent, really pleased for you. You won't go back to TAD in a hurry.
 

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A story I heard about a farm on the coast here. The farm had been OAD for many years and had recently purchased some adjoining land, right next to the parlour. The father said to the recently returned from college son that now they’d need to go TAD to pay for the land, son said “ No chance, we’ll just milk more cows!”
 
A story I heard about a farm on the coast here. The farm had been OAD for many years and had recently purchased some adjoining land, right next to the parlour. The father said to the recently returned from college son that now they’d need to go TAD to pay for the land, son said “ No chance, we’ll just milk more cows!”
Whats wrong with that?
 
Start again Feb 1 st? That's a decent length holiday.
PSC 14th Feb but with heifers and short gestation cows, milk is usually sent off on that day.
Not totally all holiday unfortunately, still have 3 or 4 man hours work everyday feeding etc, and a bit of January goes to getting ready for calving.
Still estimate we average sub 50 hours a week on annualised hours per year, all staff is family so we have no complaints and next generation want to farm.
 
PSC 14th Feb but with heifers and short gestation cows, milk is usually sent off on that day.
Not totally all holiday unfortunately, still have 3 or 4 man hours work everyday feeding etc, and a bit of January goes to getting ready for calving.
Still estimate we average sub 50 hours a week on annualised hours per year, all staff is family so we have no complaints and next generation want to farm.
We never dry right off but we'll move to OAD any day now until late Feb. With employed labour drying off doesn't stack up on this farm but still no one works more than 3-4 hours a day through winter.
 
We used to do that when we first moved to Spring calving but as fertility improved we stopped, only have open air cubicles now and when we tried to milk off them for a couple of weeks in a good price period 2014 we ended up with mastitis issues. Less stress more important than a few extra pennies.
 
We used to do that when we first moved to Spring calving but as fertility improved we stopped, only have open air cubicles now and when we tried to milk off them for a couple of weeks in a good price period 2014 we ended up with mastitis issues. Less stress more important than a few extra pennies.
I'm all for low cost systems but if it's still 12 weeks before psc that a long time with no income. If you could milk on for another 3/4 weeks and sell another 20/25kg ms /cow then that would soon pay to roof over your outdoor cubicles and still give you a decent break afterwards?

It would be different if you were opting for a life of mud and misery and wintering on fodder beet or kale.
 
We used to be mud and misery in the beginning and so dried off when we do. But it is a family farm and we discuss it whenever we review the business. Our focus is return on capital and free cash flow. We do a lot of calculation on marginal litres, so while I accept your point about lost income if we spent the extra capital on buildings to milk longer, we calculated the extra cost and effort, not just milking but bedding and feeding, extra silage needed etc was not sufficiently covered by the extra income obtained, or rather if we put that capital into off farm investments we had a better return on the money without the daily grind. Which is what we do.
 
We used to be mud and misery in the beginning and so dried off when we do. But it is a family farm and we discuss it whenever we review the business. Our focus is return on capital and free cash flow. We do a lot of calculation on marginal litres, so while I accept your point about lost income if we spent the extra capital on buildings to milk longer, we calculated the extra cost and effort, not just milking but bedding and feeding, extra silage needed etc was not sufficiently covered by the extra income obtained, or rather if we put that capital into off farm investments we had a better return on the money without the daily grind. Which is what we do.
Who do you sell your milk too?
 
We used to be mud and misery in the beginning and so dried off when we do. But it is a family farm and we discuss it whenever we review the business. Our focus is return on capital and free cash flow. We do a lot of calculation on marginal litres, so while I accept your point about lost income if we spent the extra capital on buildings to milk longer, we calculated the extra cost and effort, not just milking but bedding and feeding, extra silage needed etc was not sufficiently covered by the extra income obtained, or rather if we put that capital into off farm investments we had a better return on the money without the daily grind. Which is what we do.
If mine were a family unit then I would probably do similar but mine is contract farming where I have to keep the farm owner and him consultant happy while also paying a huge rent.
 
I think OAD is a marvelous tool for family farms, but you have to control your cost base and take a robust, business minded attitude to the enterprise. I am a bit of a numbers nerd and do the calculations (we had a truly exceptional consultant for a time with our discussion group who inspired me) and when you do, you find so much effort and capital that we put into farms merely turns money over.
 
Should add that we are on a pre 1986 AHA tenancy, so rent is reasonable but all capital expenditure is our own. Which is not an issue because with next generation now a partner we can take a 50 year time horizon on investment.
Landlord lives far, far away and only have an annual meeting, he can see that we are investing in the land and infrastructure to suit our system, which the landlord as a retired PLC business executive fully gets and understands our ROCE emphasis.
 

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