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Yes, we all know the news is not good when it comes to the milk price this year and it does not look all that rosy for next year either. Yes, you are allowed to be seriously annoyed at loosing hard earned money and yes, you are allowed to be worried about the effect it has on your business and your personal life. 

Yet at a time like this nothing is more important than budgeting, preferably for the next season, so you know where you stand and can consider strategies to minimise your loss and run your farm as economical as you can.

It is not an uplifting experience to forecast a loss, but it is much better to know how big the deficit will be beforehand. This way you are prepared. You know what you are dealing with instead of fearing the worst. This means you can take action to have strategies in place to manage and minimise your losses together with your staff, owners/share milkers, bank managers and farm consultant.

You have time to think about different ways to do things. Can you re-negotiate prices and contract with suppliers? Can changing to a different supplier (feed, grazing, chemicals) help you reduce cost? Would it help to change the way you do things? Rear less calves? Winter more animals at home? Are there neighbours who would let you use their land for grazing some young stock? Are you taking advantage of all discounts available to you by charging things to your Farmlands/PGG Wrightsons/ATS account? Are you claiming your excise tax on the petrol you use on the farm? Could you fill a temporary hole in your labour force with woofers? Could you supply winter milk or milk a smaller number of cows, so you can graze more stock at home? Or would be attractive to rear some bulls and sell them at 3 months?

Though it may be hard to sit down and ponder the financial ramifications of the current season and possibly one not much better to follow, you always feel better if you know rather then guess and have time to consider your strategies.

If you want help with this I am happy you be your sounding board, asks questions about your plans and think about their outcomes. Feel free to give me a call any time, I am usually able to come out to you on fairly short notice.