Dairy farming has transformed from a job that was confined to the rural area with necessary tools and accounting systems to full scale, automated, integrated and possibly digital systems. A transformation to this new age technology both in the actual farming and the organisational level has drastically made the workload lesser, the job more rewarding, higher profits and more accountability. Be it petite farmland with only a handful of cattle to large farms with batches of cattle, along with various dairy subsidiaries, the age of computers has rightly made our ventures flexible and more convenient. The advent of the internet and networking has also increased our exposure to the world, with the people looking on to niche products, organic and environmentally friendly farming practises and all in all paying more attention to what they consume and how it is produced. You will also notice that the generation is ready to pay the price where it is worth it.
Conventional dairy management practises involve work segregation to specific sets of people. There was very little integration, and you could never really gauge the efficiency factor. With that comes the problem of centralising the systems and analysing the process line.
From a consumer perspective, the most idea you have about your product is from the labels which can be incoherent or ambiguous.
This system ultimately results in corruption, low accountability, the disparity in production and supply along with substandard services and negative attitude of shopkeepers which can affect the business on a larger scale.
New age additions
Today’s customers appreciate and are drawn towards companies that offer transparency and ethical farming practices, regardless of whether they are big or small. The boon of high tech is its presence and application in a variety of fields. The technology today offers solutions to make the transaction from the extraction of milk to the consumer’s hands seamless and hassle-free. Digital solutions provide a more close-knit work environment between the staff and management.
To start with any management transition, we need to know what the organisation lacks. The major issues faced by companies include
Inadequate feed for cattle
Genetic problems for the progeny and diseases and incidence of such
The smaller distribution range of milk along with intermediaries and their profits
Quality control is lagging and low price points
Reduced number of farmers
Lack of affordable cold storage
To overcome these, we need to
Find more investments
Define clearly what norms and regulations are to be followed and recognise what are implementable.
The steps that can initiate this radical change can be using some specially engineered techniques that help overcome the hurdles. These are
Making use of business intelligence
RFID tagging of cattle
Expanding buyer radius
Systems to estimate and evaluate high-value customer base
Digital dairy systems bring technology to farmers. There are different specialisations for such systems. Exposure to real-time product pricing to the farmer is especially helpful to small farms who can keep track of the changing value of their product. Exposure to some sellers than the local ones can increase their production capability and make for higher profits and help in establishing themselves as a reputed brand. These are specialised software for the cattle rearing, birthing control, milking and sales platforms each with specific programs to optimise and integrate procedures.
In the case of cattle herding, the practice of indoor feeding year round is becoming popular compared to grazing on land all day to ensure even fodder delivery. Higher yielding varieties of cows are preferred or genetically bred, and herd sizes are being optimised.
Management surveys are conducted at intervals to asses the quality and the benefits of the systems implemented and to gauge if it needs any more tweaking or changes to help with efficiency.