As the year comes to a close, the term ‘resolutions’ will start to be mentioned more frequently. Usually, they are thought of in the context of health and fitness and life changes, however, they also can be applied to better business practices.
Most farmers now have capacity at the end of the year to take the time of reflect on what they have done for the past twelve months, and what has worked well. By being able to reflect and identify any practices that may need to be changed, each farmer can aim for a prosperous 2022.
As every farm will face their own individual challenges, it is up to the farmer to make an in-depth analysis and decide what will work for them. The following are some key areas to focus on.
From the review, farmers may identify an area of the health of the herd that they feel could be improved or managed better. This could be a wide range of different illnesses including lameness in animals, scour in calves or mastitis in dairy cows. Farmers should write down the issue and expand on it using the information they have. Consider contributing factors to the identified issue, ie roadways, housing facilities etc. What measures were taken and how quickly did they work. At this point the farmer can look to the next year and make changes to farm management to ensure that it does not happen again.
Create a fast-acting practical plan and carry this through. Communicate the plan with farm workers to ensure everyone is prepared for the change. When dealing with animal health, prevention is better than cure but do contact your local vet immediately to treat animals that show signs of illness.
Farmers may know the theory of farm safety, but it is essential to put it into practice everyday. Write a list of all repairs/changes that need to be carried out, prioritise and plan when to do each. Farm safety is a conversation that all farming families should be having. If not done so already, plan to discuss with family, friends and neighbours on regular basis. Do not put farm safety on the long finger.
Farm Paper Work
Lastly, many farmers struggle to stay on top of farm paperwork. On top of the daily tasks, paperwork must be recorded and kept in a safe place. For farmers who are involved in different schemes and initiatives, having the right paperwork to hand is essential for inspections.
For farmers who struggle with administration tasks, Herdwatch could help. Herdwatch is a mobile farm management app that allows farmers to record their compliance requirements on the spot. The app is cloud-based and also works fully offline saving farmers up to 5 hours a week on paperwork. The app is fully compliant with Bord Bia and the Department of Agriculture. Once you record your Calf Registrations, Remedy Purchases, Remedy usages and Feed Purchases in Herdwatch there’s no need to write them into any book- they are there on your phone.
Herdwatch has a wide range of specialised features to suit drystock, suckler, dairy, sheep and tillage farmers. This farm management app can also help farmers review their farm practices as remedies, breeding, weight recordings, movement certs etc are stored on the app. To find out more visit www.herdwatch.ie.
So, review farm management practices and get planning your new years resolutions for your farm today.