BEING prepared for a weather crisis makes good business sense.
Now is a great time to think about how an emergency event such as a torrential downpour, fire or prolonged heatwave may cost your business in lost production, bought-in feed, clean-up and repairs.
Assessing your risks is important and jotting down an inventory of assets will help you establish your insurance priorities.
If you are vulnerable to extreme weather events, how will you clear roads or feed-out in difficult conditions? Do you have back-up generators for pumps or heavy equipment? Some extra stored feed is very good insurance, but how much do you have?
Consulting your family, staff and stakeholders about your response to emergencies means everyone can be on the same page, ensuring the correct actions can be taken in an emergency.
Preparing the season's feed plan, monitoring the weather, keeping track of feed supply, and subscribing to weather warnings might be key parts of your planning.
A good way to prepare for an adverse weather event is to identify the trigger points and map-out the actions you and your staff can take to manage conditions. For storms, for example, the trigger may be when winds reach a particular strength or direction.
Finally, think about writing down a list of all the key contacts and organisations you may need to call and make sure family and staff know where it is.
Dairy Australia has useful information online, including factsheets, checklists and a Preparing your Farm for Fire toolkit.
ESKi for information
DAIRY SA recently hosted a day with employment service-providers to help farmers with Negotiating the Dairy Employment Maze, covering topics such as apprenticeships, traineeships and employer responsibilities.
Also launched at this day was the ESKi - the Employment Starter Kit initiative from Dairy Australia.
This resource gives dairyfarmers one-stop access all the necessary information and documents required when employing staff.
The kit is based on eight topics to assist with employment and is available to all dairyfarmers to help ensure their business is compliant.
As the ESKi is a hard copy, farmers can have it in the car, the ute, the office, or wherever it is accessible to both farmers and employees to refer to when needed.
It includes checklists at the end of each section so it is easy to run through what your business is doing right and where improvements can be made in the areas of payroll, safety, agreements, communication and more.
* Full report in Stock Journal, November 28 issue, 2013.