How to Start a Dairy Farming Business

Did you know the US Dairy Farms Industry has a market size of $41 billion? There are over 35,000 businesses operating in the lucrative field with over 132,000 employees.

Are you considering starting your own business in the dairy farming industry? Do you have a business plan for your dairy farm?

The following guide will explain what it takes to successfully start a dairy farm. Read on to learn how to open your business and start selling dairy products.

Dairy Farming Business Plan

First, you should identify the available resources you have. Consider how many cows you plan to milk on the farm. Think about where you will sell your dairy products and your farm’s location.

Determine how many employees you will need to hire for your farm and business. Establish a realistic budget and don’t try to do too much in the beginning.

Consult experts in the dairy industry and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Many dairy farms host open houses you can visit. Find out what works well on those farms, what doesn’t, and apply that information to your plan.

Consult with veterinarians, nutritionists, bankers, and others that might offer different insights on managing your farm. Also, keep up to date on all of the Megatrends in Dairy Farming to see where the industry is heading.

Cropping and Feeding

Will you feed your cows using a total mixed ration, let them graze, or combine both methods? A proper feeding plan is crucial because dairy cattle need certain nutrients to produce quality dairy.

Plan with a professional nutritionist to create rations for your dairy cows. Consider any other animals you plan to have on the farm like dry cows, too.

Growing your own feed takes a lot of time, land, and equipment. Consider hiring operators to plant and harvest feed crops. You can also plan with neighbors to share equipment and labor to get your business going.

Many farms use double-cropping systems. They usually grow small grain crops that come after corn silage.

Waste Management Plan

Dairy cows make a lot of manure but it can be a resource if managed properly. For example, double cropping systems allow you to use more manure on your land.

You can also use composting and anaerobic digestion to generate additional revenue. This extra cash might be very useful in the early days of your dairy business.

Expect Slow Growth

Dairy farming requires a large capital investment and building equity over time. Very few new farmers have the money for land, buildings, equipment, and cows when they first get started.

New dairy farmers often start with buying their cows first. Then, they rent the farm and land until they can afford their own. The initial purchase of animals acts as your farm’s equity.

Ready To Start Your Dairy Farm?

Now you know the basics of dairy farming and where to start. Create a business plan, develop feeding and waste management strategies, and have patience! Remember this guide and start building a successful dairy farm.

Check out the rest of our site for more great guides and other fascinating food information.