How To Start a Dairy Farm Milk Production Business?
Opening a dairy farm needs a considerable amount of research and heavy investment. Don’t get into milk farming with a light heart. Milk is a product which will always be in demand. As the nation is growing health conscious, more and more people are turning to dairy products for their nutrition needs. And any dairy product needs milk as its key ingredient.
1. A Business Plan
Now, as with any other business, proper research is mandatory. Writing down your business Plan is vital, as it will serve as a reality check and you would definitely need it for getting loans from private investors or financial institutions. Make a plan so that it encompasses three years of your dairy business and factor in the capital needed to open a dairy farm.
You need a considerable size of land, a shelter where you will keep a minimum of 100 cows, an Artificial Insemination center, a veterinarian, proper plumbing works and manure controlling facilities, fodder for the cows, a shelter for calving, where the claves are bottle fed, machinery for extracting milk, pasteurizing facility (if you plan to sell the milk directly) capital for buying cows (be warned, they don’t come cheap) and labor help.
2. Build a Firm Base
Government help is at hand as milk farming adds to the economy of a nation. Contact your local government authority to get technical and legal assistance. You will need expert guidance in the process of setting up your business. If you plan to buy an already established dairy farm, then just make sure it has all the proper facilities. Do a complete background check before buying though.
3. Nutrition and Health of Your Cows
Dairy cattle require a certain set of nutrients to support themselves, to produce milk. Whether you are a plan to feed a TMR (total mixed ration), graze your cattle, or some combination of both, you must work with a nutritionist to develop rations for your lactating cows and dry cows.
Make sure your cows are checked by a veterinarian regularly, as dairy cows can get sick quickly. They can catch the infection of the udders, which is the last thing you want. Maintain proper cleanliness of the facility. Make sure your cows are treated ethically. You can’t benefit without treating the animals ethically and morally.
4. Create a Waste Management Plan
Dairy cattle produce a lot of manure. While this manure is often referred to as waste, if managed and used properly it can be a great resource on the farm itself. Manure management should be closely attached to your cropping and feeding program. If you are able to use a double cropping system on your farm it will not only allow you to produce more feed but will also allow you to apply more manure to your land.
There are alternatives to direct land application of manure such as composting and anaerobic digestion of manure. These options will not only provide additional revenue and other benefits to your dairy business but they will also help you in raising the capital investment required to get your dairy started.
5. Storage of Milk
Don’t forget to factor in a proper storage facility and the storage and then later the transportation of milk. It is vital to have utensils which can be loaded for travel without any leakage problem.
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