Planning for Profit workshops

Published 22 May 14

Are you considering changes to your business?

- More cows - Changing calving patterns
- More milk from forage - Planning for succession
- Taking on some staff - A new shed

Or just looking for ways to improve profitability…

About Planning for Profit

P4P Piggy Bank

Planning for Profit is AHDB Dairy’s 1-day and 2-day planning workshop for dairy farmers who get a chance to work through real financial & physical management and nutritional scenarios for their business. By taking you away from the day to day farm tasks, these workshops are 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.

Two (1-day workshop) or three (2-day workshop) specialist consultants work with you to explore your business, using the farm's actual cost of production as a base point (collected from you prior to the workshop).

Attendees also benefit from the chance to share experiences and ideas with other farmers (a maximum of nine dairy business per 2-day workshop or up to four businesses per 1-day workshop), along with technical sessions on nutrition, utilisation of feeds and core costs per cow. Importantly you are able to test different scenarios for your business.


More about the workshop 

Planning for Profit as the 2-day residential workshop at a subsidised cost of £269 +VAT for up to two people per business, including accommodation. Should the aspect of staying away from their farm be a particular barrier to attending the 1-day workshop may be more suitable at £125 +VAT, again for up to two people per business.

During the workshops a range of technical and practical areas are covered.

The first session of the workshop focuses on why the producers are involved in dairying and what their aims and goals are on both a P4P Sessionpersonal and business level. This session is a key to identifying potential avenues for businesses to guide what they do and the plans that businesses may wish to produce as a result of attending the workshop.

A discussion on business goals in terms of what profit the attendees would like the business to achieve focuses the producers away from ‘this is what the business does’ to a point of ‘how can I achieve that figure?’

“Holding cost per cow” is introduced as a key figure within the workshop. This figure is made up of the costs associated with keeping an animal on-farm before feed. An understanding of the costs which will increase as cow numbers increase and those which can be diluted as numbers increase can help with decisions on expansion and consolidation of businesses in the planning stage.

During these discussions there are sessions using the farm data, in a bespoke excel based programme, which will ultimately provide a business specific plan. This programme is built to allow the testing of different options for the business side by side and comparable against both current activity and planned activity.

Sessions looking at the nutritional requirements of the cow during lactation and the dry period in terms of energy requirements, for milk production, calf growth, maintenance, condition changes etc, and balance against what the diet is delivering against potential. This understanding of how nutritional changes affect the cow, is the basis for the production planning aspect of the workshop.

Time is also spent looking at what monetary value can and should be attached to different job roles on the farm. Is true financial value attached to the time taken for the management aspects of the business? Is the labour employed or available performing the correct roles within the business? This session relates back to the profit figures discussed during the early session and aims to help the understanding of how to value time and account for this when planning business strategies.

If you would like further information on AHDB Dairy’s Planning for Profit workshops then please contact your local extension officer or Rachael Chamberlayne on 07976980759 or