Milk price volatility and the increased frequency in boom-bust cycles has driven farmers to seek opportunities to stabilise farm earnings and spend. The influence of global factors such as removal of milk quotas, lower oil prices, weather events, and political volatility has seen milk prices vary substantially which for large farms or farm groups can see a difference in earnings of €120k per 1 million litres produced.
Dairy farming can build resilience to fluctuations in earnings through adopting the Lean operations approach. Our case study below will show how standard Lean techniques used on a large dairy farm in Ireland resulted in cash savings as well as freeing up time for the owner to work on growing the farm business.
Lean includes a set of techniques and a way of doing business originally developed by the automotive industry, but evolved over the last 30 years to meet the needs of almost all sectors. If you have people, processes or problems, you can reap the benefits of Lean.
The approach advocated in Lean, challenges farm owners and employees to carry out their day-to-day work easier, better, faster and safer. Lean seeks to identify and eliminate unnecessary activities so that work requires less effort, less capital and less time, but with excellent milk quality.