by Richard Kimmich
Each year, the Cornell Dairy Farm Business Summary and Analysis (DFBS) Program analyzes data from dairy farms across the state and provides the participating farmers with information to assist in improving the financial management of their business. This data is also summarized across the state and publications are generated for different aspects of the dairy industry. The DFBS system tracks all types of dairy herds and although there is not always a sufficient number of participating farms, in each farm type as was the case in 2013, limited information for Grazing, Organic and Rented farms is discussed in this article.
Renter Farms in the DFBS:
A renter farm for the DFBS is defined as a farm in which the land and facilities are rented. These farms primarily use stanchion facilities with a small number using freestall barns. Herds are 74% Holstein, followed by other breeds at 23% and Jersey at 3%. Milking frequencies vary by farm but 2x/day milking is the most common at 71% with the remainder using 3x/day. Average number of cows for the renter farms was 256 with a production of 23,843 lbs/cow, up from 19,466 lbs/cow in 2012.
Profitability and prices in 2013 was similar to 2012 for renters. Net farm income with appreciation was $157,093 unchanged from 2012 with an average milk price of $21.02 per cwt compared to $20.02 in 2012. Purchased grains and concentrate as a percentage of milk sales dropped 2% to 36% with overall feed cost dropping $12.29/cwt to $9.73/cwt. Farm net worth also increased in 2013 rising to $474,403 from $335,094 in the prior year.
Grazing Farms in the DFBS:
A grazing farm for the DFBS is a farm that grazes at least three months a year, with forage from pasture at least 30% of the total ration and paddock rotation every three days. These farms are evenly split between stanchion and freestall at 41% with 18% combined. Herds are 62% Holstein, followed by Jersey and other breeds both at 19%. All of the grazing farms that took part in the survey in 2013 milked 2x/day. Average number of cows for the renter farms was 165 (156 in 2012) with a production of 15,929 lbs/cow, down from 17,804lbs/cow in 2012.
Grazing farms had a good year in 2013 seeing increase of profits even with the dip in milk production. Net farm income with appreciation was $170,078 up $94,617 from 2012 with an average milk price of $22.26 compared to $19.86 in 2012. Purchased grains and concentrate as a percentage of milk sales dropped 3% to 30% with overall feed cost dropping from $7.73/cwt to $7.27/cwt. Total cost of production also dropped in 2013 moving from $23.54 to $21.67.
Organic Farms in the DFBS:
Organic farms would be any farm that identifies itself as organic and has the proper certifications. These farms primarily use freestall facilities with a small number using a combined barn (a combined barn is a barn utilizing both stanchion and freestall). Herds are 51% Holstein, followed by Jersey at 15% and other breeds at 34%. All of the farms surveyed were 2x/day milking, which is not uncommon due to grazing requirements. Average number of cows for the organic farms was 215 with a production of 15,069 lbs/cow, which was up from 13,722lbs/cow in 2012.
Organic farms saw a drop in net farm income without appreciation of $16,271 moving to $217,002 with an average milk price of $35.09 compared to $33.43 in 2012. Purchased grains and concentrate as a percentage of milk sales was constant at 16% but overall feed cost increased by $1.61/cwt to $9.38/cwt. Even with the drop in net farm income, farm net worth increased in 2013 rising to $2,472,015 from $1,866,487 in 2012.
The DFBS program has been in existence over 50 years. The author is an Extension Specialist in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University.
The Dairy Farm Business Summary and Analysis Program is always looking for additional farms to take part in the program whether they be renters, grazing, organic or conventional of all sizes. If you are a farm that is interested in participating in the summary or would like more information on participating in the Dairy Farm Business Summary please contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension agent or you can contact the DFBS program directly at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can find information about your local extension at www.cce.cornell.edu or send an inquire email to email@example.com or visit dfbs.aem.cornell.edu.