Managing = Money
It’s easy to point out holes but it is harder to repair. Why not properly manage to start with?
The process is fairly direct: Define goals, metrics, participant(s), risks and facilitate transparency.
The challenge: feed is a farmers major expense, eliminating feed loss is impossible and it involves deal with animate (people and animals) and inanimate (feed, bags, bins) participants. Add financial and time constraints and feed management often becomes perplexing and is ignored. Instead, focus is placed closer to the an end product, such as milk or animals.
Accurate measuring brings focused management, improved operations and cost savings. Focused
management will enable actual vs. planned evaluations, greater time management, improved feed quality and quantity, employee empowerment and operational opportunities. The results are decreased shrink, increased profits, and happier people and animals.
When producers, harvesters, transporters, storage experts and farm employees work together to mitigate loss, significant results may be met. Well planned feed management program + well trained participants is the secret.
Where To Start
There are many ares on the feed supply chain to look to start your feed management. The main areas are the field, transport, storage and feeding. Focus should start with on farm items and work. The areas, in order of importance are:
- Storage (use scales, proper density, covering, equipment readiness, location preparation)
- Handling (employee education, proper equipment, extraction)
- Mixing (procedures, sequence, feed locations,
- Feeding / Bunk (bunk cleanliness, animal access, feed placement, weather, animals/rodents)
These areas are generally on the farm and under direct management control. The areas are generally sequential. Establishing process, protocols and metrics is entirely possible. Measuring and management is essential.
Define the risk areas:
Shrink: a farm with 1,000 head, a feeding cost of $7 per day with 10% shrink equals to $700 per day or over $21,000 per month and over $250,000 per year.
Production: Feed can easily impact an animals weight gain, milk production and strength. Using a
1,000 head this production cost can have 5-10% with costs ranging between $300,000 and $1 million yearly based upon animal and production goals.
Health: Animal health and management will increase due to poor feed having an estimated costs between $120,000 and $190,000 per year
ROI should be defined and on most farms, feed shrink is an excellent place to start with 3-5% change possible. The largest ROI is normally accomplished by procedures and employee management improvement. Therefore, spending $9,000-$15,000 developing define goals, metrics, training participant(s) and facilitating transparency would be a neutral ROI. However, a compound effect is almost always seen. Production will increase and animal health expenses decrease, making the management improvement ROI positive. Awareness, transparency and trust developed will continue and show even futher shrink reduction, production increase and health improvement. If management continues engagement and building into employees.
IF accurate measurements are not completed, ROI will not be able to be calculated.
Now that there is improved feed storage, handling, mixing and feeding there will be less feed necessary and therefore less cost. Management should then look to the future. Plan and work with producers, field workers, harvesting and transportation entities. We see farmers are able to plant fewer acres, purchase less, sell excess feed, reduce debt, eliminate or reduce exposure, decrease staffing needs and more.
THORFeed partners with farmers and their staff resulting in improved operations and reduced costs, simplified and transformed farming operations.