You’ve got to master the basics
In baseball, the basics include:
- Advancing the base runner (hit, sacrifice or bunt)
- Throwing to the correct base to get the lead runner out
- Backing up every throw and not throwing the ball away
- Getting the leadoff batter out
When a player or team fails to execute those basics, they usually lose. Sometimes players and fans get caught up in less significant things such as the number of strikeouts or extra base hits. Those are helpful, but if you don’t do the basics these won’t help you win.
In dairy some of the basics include:
- Producing high quality forage
- Producing high quality milk (SCC < 100,000)
- Healthy calves
- Healthy cows
Maybe you need to make some changes. When you strengthen the basics, you’ll find other things work better.
It’s a team sport
There are nine positions in baseball. You might have a utility infielder who can play several different positions, but no one can play all the positions well.
I heard a presentation about business success in which the speaker, Ernesto Sirillo, highlighted three vital functions a business must successfully perform:
He said that he has never found a person who could do all three well, yet all three are essential. Therefore, success in business depends on more than one person.
The business of dairy is not different. You need others. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses and work with others who make up for your weaknesses. They don’t have to be partners, but you need to have a regular relationship with them and trust them.
It’s important to know the stats
Baseball is a game of statistics. Everything in baseball is measured, maybe obsessively so, but managers use statistics to manage their players and make changes.
Stats measure the progress, show the strengths and weaknesses, indicate trends and tendencies and give you reason to celebrate or make changes.
What kind of data might help you manage a dairy herd for greater profitability?
- Heifer growth rate
- Milk production of first calf heifers
- Culls/deaths within the first 30 days in milk
- Performance of cows bred after 180 days in milk
- Cost of feed per hundredweight of milk
How could knowing any of these help you? You could make changes to improve the performance as measured by the number. The result would be greater profitability, but it starts with measuring.