Review current farm performance




Mind set


Understanding the management commitment required and the challenges/benefits of AYR or block calving systems is the first step in deciding which is best suited to you.


AYR calving requires continuous operation and management of multiple tasks throughout the year, with every stage of the production cycle taking place every month.


Block calving requires batch management and a specific focus on key operations for the success of the herd during each stage of the production cycle in turn. Cows will be managed as a single group for most of the year. Milking will stop for a period each year.


Current financial performance

A thorough understanding of the farms current financial performance and recognition of its key strengths and weaknesses will help inform decisions about future plans.


Before considering any change to farming systems you should benchmark the current performance and compare it against average and top 25% figures for farmers operating a similar system.


AHDB will launch a Dairy module to the FarmBench programme in 2018, the AHDB Comparable Farm Profit tool is currently available to use.  Many other benchmarking tools are available via commercial organisations.


The AHDB Dairy Evidence Report provides physical and financial comparison data for the top and bottom 5% and 25% performing herds in GB.


Current calving pattern

AHDB encourages every farmer to make a conscious decision on their herds calving pattern by asking some key questions


Movement from one system to the other can be achieved either radically or gradually. Both have advantages and disadvantages