The Pine Creek Nutrition newsletters usually come about after conversations – this one is no different. “Better is Better” was discussed the other night with a fellow Penn State grad. We were talking about protein and energy for growing calves. The idea also applies while setting goals and expectations for the year.
Jason and I had some windshield time in Idaho and talked about “Better is Better” in reference to strat- egies during low margin/return years. What free things can you do better?
- Make lists. Lists of goals. Lists of projects. To do lists. Lists serve the purpose of keeping us on task.
- Do the exercise of setting goals and outlining expectations.
- Write your budget.
- Develop the operation’s 5-year plan. This will keep you motivated to get through the ups and downs.
- Can you do one thing a little bit better?
- Push up feed more often. The last pound of dry matter intake yields up to 3 lbs more of energy corrected milk.
- Reduce feed shrink with neatness in the feed area.
- Depending on circumstances specific to your dairy, does adding a cost-cutting ingredient make the diet better? Even if you own plenty of silage, almond hulls may save you money, and improve the diet.
- Groom free stalls more often.
- Are heifers and dry cows bedded adequately?
- Review your SOPs. Are they really standardized?
- Is everyone trained in humane handling skills of down/injured cows?
- Is everyone milking consistently? Training to be consistent is free. Herds that consistently get milk quality premiums don’t spend more money. They spend more time training.
- Speaking of training; employees are motivated by many things. Near the top of the list is atten- tion. They want to know what is expected. How to do the work correctly. Motivate employees to be consistent during the tough times with training and attention.
Use these ideas as a starting point. “Better is Better” and doing one thing a little bit better will help you stay focused on improving.