Planning for profit

Published 21 November 14

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The ideal opportunity to test your plans

A DairyCo Planning for Profit workshop is a great way for dairy farmers to work through real financial and management scenarios for their businesses and test options for change. Rachael Chamberlayne, DairyCo senior product manager – economics, gives an insight into the objectives.

The two-day residential workshop is aimed at those who have already begun to consider making some changes to their business, whether expansion, changing calving pattern, boosting milk from forage, planning for business succession, or simply looking for more general ways to improve profitability. The workshops are as tailored as possible to individual farms.

The workshops have been running successfully for eight years (previously as What If?), strategic aspects of dairying are looked at in detail, examining the goals of the business and those involved with it, coupled with the business’ current cost of production, as a base point. Attendees test different scenarios for their businesses to see what the potential implications on profitability and resources might be. With technical sessions on nutrition, utilisation of feeds and core costs per cow, the sessions aim to help in the production plan to take business forward and increase profitability.

P4P group 1

Rachel continues, “Experienced specialist consultants are on hand throughout the two days to provide support and advice tailored to your needs and to guide discussions with other dairy farmers to share ideas and develop the shape of the farm business as well as individual’s personal goals. “By taking you away from the day-to-day farm tasks, this is a great chance to focus on the potential of the business. We encourage two attendees per business and this gives the benefit of sharing thought processes, as well as an understanding of the required actions, post workshop.”

The next Planning for Profit workshop will be based in the Cheshire/Staffordshire area on 3 and 4 December. The workshop fee is £269 +VAT per business. This is a contribution to the total cost of the residential two-day workshop and is for up to two people from the same business.

Further workshops will be taking place on 28-29 January in Hampshire and in the North of England in March 2015.

Dairy farmers Ian Walker and his son Ben from Norfolk attended a workshop and said, “We found the workshop incredibly useful, if a bit exhausting,” he jokes. “We covered so much and managed to look at so many aspects of the business and what changes could mean to us. It made you think about things such as the hidden costs of making system changes.”

Roger Lewis of Pembrokeshire attended a separate workshop and commented, “It’s always good to see how others are doing it, let’s face it we’re all inquisitive when it comes to each other’s farms and practices!” Roger continued, “The group was very open, which was important as many were looking at big business changes. The workshop was a great chance to pick other farmers’ brains, as well as the consultants who ran the course.

“The two days away from the coalface and the daily routine was hugely beneficial. Sometimes it can seem almost impossible to get away from the farm but it’s really worth investing that time in your business.”

For further information or to book your place, please call Rachael Chamberlayne on 02476 478788 or visit