An appraisal of the Lincoln College Dairy Analysis Management Scheme
An important aspect of the operation of a town milk supply dairy farm is the organisation of the monthly milk production to obtain full advantage of the quota plus percentage payout system. A farmer can have a major influence on monthly milk yield through the alternation of his herd’s calving pattern. The objective of this study was to conduct an appraisal of the Dairy Analysis Management Scheme (DAMS) at present being developed at Lincoln College. The major objective of this scheme is to aid town milk supply farmers plan the calving pattern of their milking herd. It was determined that when forecasting monthly milk production using average lactation yields it should be possible to be accurate within plus or minus ten percent. This error level was considered satisfactory for long term decision making. After testing the forecasted results produced by DAMS, the scheme was found to be too inaccurate in its present form to be of any use. The major reason for the inaccurate results was the inappropriate lactation curves used as the basis of the milk yield predictions. If however the error present in the forecasted monthly milk yields does not exceed ten percent, it may be possible for a farmer using DAMS to obtain a benefit of approximately $2000 assuming he changes his calving pattern only once over a five year period. Although all the farmers currently using DAMS on a trial basis said they would continue to use the scheme if the level of accuracy was improved, only 33 percent of the potential users that replied to the postal survey expressed interest in using it. They were the younger farmers who have had more formal education. Finally it was determined that any future developments of the scheme should include more cost information with the scheme eventually being developed to provide a full budgeting process.... [Show full abstract]
KeywordsLincoln College; dairy analysis management scheme; dairy farms; milk production; lactation yields; farm business; town milk producers; surveys; carving pattern planning; computerized information scheme; farm management; milk yield predictions
Fields of Research070106 Farm Management, Rural Management and Agribusiness; 070107 Farming Systems Research; 070105 Agricultural Systems Analysis and Modelling; 140201 Agricultural Economics
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