New Study Shows Larger Dairies By Far The Most Profitable
Thursday, May 3rd, 2012
The largest category of dairy farms in an annual survey - those that milk 300 or more cows - are "by far the most profitable of the four size groups" in the detailed financial analysis of more than 500 farms in the northeastern United States by three Farm Credit System lending associations.
The annual Northeast Dairy Farm Summary reports that the larger contingent posted $914 net earnings per cow in 2011, compared with $797 for all farms.
The survey was compiled by Farm Credit East, Farm Credit of Maine and Yankee Farm Credit, and covered operations in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York State and New Jersey.
The authors of the survey say that "profitability has more to do with successful management of all aspects of the business than any other factor," But they did report "strong correlations" of better profits for the larger operations.
"The 300+ cow group contributed two out of every three farms in the top profit quartile, and 50% of these large farms were in the top profit group," they write. The larger operations were the most productive in milk per cow and per worker and had the lowest cost of production."