Farm business management involves a mix of short- and long-term planning.
In the shorter term, planning for cash flow is essential in order to be able to pay for dairy feed, staff wages and other regular bills. Other day-to-day decisions have an immediate effect or one that will be felt within the following few months.
In the longer-term, even the day-to-day decisions made now, such as the choice of AI bull to be used, have consequences that become apparent months and years into the future.
The difficulties in planning for the longer-term tend to be concerned with uncertainties about consumer food safety, environmental and community issues, and the lack of communication between farmers and their successors.
Defining personal and business goals and creating a business plan on a 'whole farm' basis is essential; issues including succession or retirement, farm and business expansion, dealing with new legislation, changes in consumer tastes and farm subsidy provision need to be dealt with promptly and effectively for the sake of future farm viability and profitability.