Ways to Address the Weakest Link

The following are a few suggestions for addressing the weakest link within an enterprise.  They are by no means comprehensive, and of course, you would need to:
For each enterprise, spend the time to think through what the real issue is for that enterprise.  The one thing you can be sure of is that every enterprise on your farm has a weak link.

Just because you have identified the weak link in an enterprise, does not mean it is the weakest weak link on the whole farm.  For further details about this very important point, please study the “comprehensive guide to holistic financial planning” elsewhere on the site.

Cropping enterprise
Resource conversion link
  1. Look at the possibility of leasing additional land.  This will require a good and firm Gross Profit analysis (see comprehensive guide to holistic financial planning).
  2. Consider alternative fertiliser regimes
  3. Consider longer pasture rotations - perhaps 8 to 10 years.  Probably only really effective when coupled with holistic grazing planning.
  4. Consider crop rotations. 
  5. If irrigating, can you fly pasture or other seed into a standing crop prior to last irrigation, and allow new crop to be establishing during the crop dry-down phase?
Product conversion link
  1. Acquire skills in measuring health of crop using refractometer.
  2. Look at foliar fertilisers, with their use based on regular testing with refractometer to measure brix readings. 
  3. Look at entire production chain, seeking leakages of harvested material
  4. Look for reasons why harvested material is not merchantable when delivered
  5. Look at timing of crops. Can you alter planting date, seed variety, etc
Marketing link
  1. Is your marketing problem based on low volume?
  2. Are you comparing prices offered for your product with the same product offered by others.  I often see people saying, “Joe got more than me”, but when analysed, Joe had also offered a higher grade product to the market.
Grazing enterprise
Resource conversion link
  1. Box mobs together: always the quickest and cheapest alternative but often resisted.  The benefits accrue two ways: 1) It causes higher graze to recovery ratio—for every day of grazing there are more days of recovery; and 2) it increases stock density
  2. Use electric fencing to strip graze.  Make sure you have a back fence, otherwise the benefit is reduced.  Electric fencing strip grazing benefits two ways: 1) It causes high graze to recovery ratio—for every day of grazing there are more days of recovery; and 2) it increases stock density.
  3. Reduce the frequency and duration of calving/lambing/kidding.  This is really related to point 1 above - reduce the number of mobs!
  4. Extend recovery periods way beyond current levels.
  5. Be very sure that your plants are in ‘rapid growth’ before moving to fast moves.  Slow moves in fast growth does little damage to plants and not much to the animals, whereas fast moves during slow growth compromises (by overgrazing) many plants.

Product conversion link
  1. Consider changes to pattern of moves
  2. Consider changing enterprises or enterprise mix.  Do you need some mother cows to apply high animal impact and kick start some biological processes?
  3. Consider more paddocks, to increase frequency of moves and maintain a higher overall plane of nutrition.
Marketing link
  1.     Is your marketing problem based on low volume?
  2.  Are you comparing prices offered for your product with the same product offered by others.  I often see people saying, “Joe got more than me”, but when analysed, Joe had also offered a higher grade product to the market.
                                        Return to Main menu                                         Feedback and Comments