Preliminary Report # 1 – Dairy Farm Business Summary and Analysis Program

Jason Karszes

As dairy farm businesses across New York analyze their financial performance by participating in the Dairy Farm Business Summary and Analysis Project, supported by Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY, the change that occurred on farms from 2017 to 2018 can be reviewed. An important function of management is to compare how your farm changed from one year to the next, how this compares to goals, and how this compares to the industry. Understanding what has changed and determining why these changes occurred can help businesses plan changes to improve in 2019.

The first preliminary progress report for farms participating in both 2017 and 2018 has been released.

Highlights from this first preliminary report:

  • Milk shipped per farm increased by six percent. This was due to an increase in herd size as milk sold per cow was essentially unchanged, decreasing by 15 pounds a cow.
  • Labor efficiency increased four percent.
  • Average cost per hired worker equivalent increased two percent.
  • Total cost of producing cwt. of milk increased $0.10.
  • Total cost of producing cwt. of milk in 2018 ranged from $17.44 to $23.27.
  • Gross milk price decreased $1.06 per cwt. to $17.47.
  • Net farm income per cow without appreciation decreased from $500 to $167 per cow.
  • Labor and management income per operator turned negative, averaging -$133,125 per owner-operator.
  • Debt per cow increased seven percent to $4,049 per cow.
  • Reflecting decreased asset values, net farm income with appreciation was lower than without appreciation, averaging -$76 per cow in 2018.

If you are interested in analyzing the performance of your business, please contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office to inquire about what resources are available to assist in this effort.

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