One hundred and forty-four farms have participated in nine different studies looking at activity analysis for reproduction, dairy replacements, veterinarian costs, milking center operations, and harvest costs. The information generated from these projects has been utilized in seven different discussion group meetings and PRO-DAIRY Winter Dairy Management meetings in 2008, 2011, and 2012. The information has also been reported in the PRO-DAIRY insert of the Eastern Dairy Business magazine and in the PRO-DAIRY update section of the Northeast Dairy Producers Association annual conference proceedings. These projects have identified ranges of costs and performance in key dairy farm activities and have provided information for dairy producers to utilize in analyzing their own businesses. The range costs for the five activity areas analyzed are:
• Reproduction program 512%
• Cost of haylage harvest 83%
• Cost of herd health program 140%
• Cost of milking center operation 149%
• Cost of raising heifers 22%
The range of costs associated with these activities impacts overall business profitability. Knowing the costs and performance of different activities of the dairy farm is becoming an increasingly important focus of management on dairy farms.
impact statement issue
The New York Farm Viability Institute (NYFVI) has identified cost of production, enterprise analysis, and simplified programs for benchmarking as key priorities. Due to the intertwined systems, efficient use of facilities, labor, and equipment, there is limited understanding of certain cost areas for dairy farms, which challenges their ability to remain competitive.
impact statement response
The Activity Analysis Project has been developed over the last five years to start addressing the priorities of the NYFVI. The project consists of identifying the costs of key activities on dairy farms and developing tools to be used to calculate the operating and opportunity costs of these activities. Tools have been developed to analyze dairy replacement costs, milking center costs, cost of reproductive programs, costs of harvest, and detailed breakdown of veterinarian and medicine costs. The results have been used in extension meetings, discussion groups, and magazine articles to highlight the ranges in cost and performance and the key factors that are generating this range.
impact statement summary
This project is designed to provide information to dairy producers on the costs associated with different activities within their businesses, the key drivers of the range in costs, and tools to help them identify what their costs are. Over the last five years,144 farms have participated in the project, providing information associated with five different dairy business activities. The costs in these areas ranged from 22% to 512% between farms, illustrating that there is opportunity for farms to make changes and lower their costs.