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JULY 2020

Progress Report #4
Dairy Farm Business Summary and Analysis Program

The fourth and final progress report of the Dairy Farm Business Summary has been released for 2019. As dairy businesses across the state continue to analyze their financial and business performance utilizing the Dairy Farm Business Summary and Analysis Program, updated progress of the farm reports are provided to review the changes that have occurred from 2018 to 2019. As more data has been collected, the progress reports are provided for the average of all farms and five different herd size categories. For each of these herd size groups, key information is summarized to use for comparison with farms: Progress of the Farm, Per Cow & Per Cwt and Business Chart.

With 147 farms participating in the DFBS for two years, from 2018 to 2019 the average farm herd size increased 6 percent and milk sold increased 7 percent. Worker equivalents also increased 2 percent leading to an increase of milk sold per worker of 5 percent from 2018 to 2019. Hired labor costs per worker equivalent increased 5 percent, but hired labor costs per cwt remained unchanged as milk sold per worker increased. Net milk price increased 14 percent leading to a net milk income over purchased grain and concentrate per cow increase of 24 percent. Debt coverage ratio increased 86 percent leading to a decrease in farm debt per cow of 5 percent.

Highlighted factors associated with the five herd size ranges:

  Less than 250 Cows  250 Cows to 649 Cows 650 Cows to 999 Cows   1,000 Cows to 1,449 Cows Greater than 1,450 Cows
Average Herd Size 134  455 836 1,218 2,344
Milk Per Cow 23,388 24,792 25,181 27,024 26,700
Milk Sold per Worker Equivalent 777,980 1,141468 1,224,953 1,329,322  1,435,177
Net Milk Income Over Purchased Grain and Conc. Per Cow
$2,611 $3,127 $3,172 $3,384 $3,373
Hired Labor Costs per CWT
$1.69 $2.82  $2.90  $3.10  $3.00 
Operating Costs to Produce Milk (per CWT)
$15.61  $15.97
% Return on All Capital, w/o Appreciation
-1.1% 1.8% 4.9% 5.6% 7.2%


Managing Forages Through a Season of Drought: A Two-Part Webinar Series
with Cornell Cooperative Extension of six Northern New York counties and Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY

A two-part webinar series on forage management will be offered 7:00 to 8:00 PM, July 30 and August 4. The forage webinar series is free and one registration includes both evenings. Webinar content is intended for livestock, dairy and cash crop enterprises and includes information on hay and pastures. Click here to register online or call 315-788-8450 ext. 222.

Part 1: Pasture First Aid for Drought Recovery
Thursday, July 30 |  7:00 - 8:00 PM

  • A Livestock Perspective – Betsy Hodge, Livestock Educator, CCE St. Lawrence
  • Getting the Most out of the Rest of the Growing Season … and into 2021 – Kitty O’Neil, Field Crops and Forage Specialist, NCRAT
  • Emergency Forage Planting Options for Late Fall and Early Spring – Joe Lawrence, Dairy Forage Systems Specialist, PRO-DAIRY

Part 2: Stored Forages: Winter Feed Supply Beyond the Drought
Tuesday, August 4 | 7:00 -8:00 PM

  • Managing the Remaining Growing Season (Planting and Harvest Options) – Joe Lawrence, Dairy Forage Systems Specialist, PRO-DAIRY
  • Corn Silage – Getting the Most Out of Your Harvest in a Drought Year - Joe Lawrence, Dairy Forage Systems Specialist, PRO-DAIRY
  • Forage Inventory Management: Assessing and Planning for Winter - Ron Kuck, Ag Program Educator, CCE Cayuga

Coronavirus Producer Action Survey
The coronavirus continues to cause disease, market disruptions, and employment turmoil throughout the country. Farms continue to operate as essential businesses, adopting many new management practices intended to slow or halt the spread of the virus. Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development is conducting a survey to measure the extent farmers have taken actions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease it can cause. The purpose is to provide accurate information for farm managers, educators, and decision-making authorities.

Access the survey here: COVID-19 Producer Action Survey

Purpose of the Survey

  • Measure adoption of the coronavirus prevention actions on farms.
  • Gather accurate information for farmers, educators, and decision-makers.

Benefits for Producers

  • Receive a copy of the summary results
  • Compare own actions to that of others
  • Survey is straightforward and only takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete

All information entered will be kept confidential. Only aggregate data, with no way to identify farms or individuals, will be published or shared. No financial compensation is provided to participants, but a summary of the results will be shared if you contribute a usable survey and include a working email address.

For questions, contact: Lucas Smith ( or 315-759-8188) or Richard Stup, Ph.D., Cornell Agricultural Workforce Specialist, ( or 607-255-7890).

Dialing into Your Best Dairy Podcast Series
with Cornell Cooperative Extension Regional Dairy Specialists and Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY

Episodes in the eight-part Dialing into Your Best Dairy podcast series cover management practices and tips to reach your herd’s full genetic potential. PRO-DAIRY and CCE Dairy Specialists discuss the different life stages of the dairy cow, including raising calves through the milk phase and weaning; managing weaned heifers up to freshening; making decisions about which replacements to keep including talking about inventory, disease prevention, and culling decisions; feeding and nutrition management during lactation; facilities, time management, and ventilation considerations throughout lactation; and management factors around reproduction, gestation, and the dry period. The final episode releases on August 3.

Heat Stress: Key Indicators and Management Strategies
Estrés por Calor en Vacas Lecheras: Señales Claves y Estrategias de Manejo

Webinar Recordings in English and Spanish

Learn about the negative repercussions of heat stress in dairy cows and calves along with ways to prevent and mitigate it.

Aprenderán sobre las repercusiones negativas del estrés por calor en vacas lecheras y becerros, además de maneras de prevenir y mitigarlo

Contact Us:

For more information about PRO-DAIRY, visit

Julie Berry, Editor | Tom Overton, Director | Facebook

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