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Performance of WNY Dairy Farm Businesses in 2012 - Progress of the Farm Business

John Hanchar, Farm Business Management
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

July 8, 2013

  • While milk sold per cow rose about 2.5 percent, gross milk sales per hundredweight (cwt.) fell $2.03 to $19.76 in 2012 when compared to 2011.
  • In 2012, the total cost of producing a cwt. of milk was $19.00, a decrease of 10 cents per cwt. relative to 2011.
  • Preliminary results compiled on April 4, 2013 suggest that the same 46 WNY farms achieved decreased levels of profitability in 2012 compared to 2011 -- for example, in 2012, the rate of return on all capital without appreciation averaged 6.4 percent compared to 11.2 percent in 2011.
IntroductionThe following preliminary results were compiled by Linda Putnam, Extension Support Specialist, The Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, on April 4, 2013 using data from Cornell University Cooperative Extension's DFBS Program. The results were reported to, and used by participants during the WNY Region's meeting for cooperators in April 2013. Participants used results to identify strengths and weaknesses of their businesses. The results reported below represent averages for the same 46 WNY Region farms cooperating in 2011 and 2012.
  • Net farm income without appreciation per cwt. of milk averaged $2.97 in 2012, a decrease of about 38 percent compared to 2011.
  • Rate of return on equity capital without appreciation fell to 7.6 percent in 2012 from 14.8 in 2011.
  • In 2012, the rate of return on all capital without appreciation was 6.4 percent, a decrease of 43 percent relative to 2011.

Income Generation
  • Gross milk sales per cow decreased from $5,462 in 2011 to $5,074 in 2012, a decrease of 7.1 percent.
  • Gross milk sales per hundredweight (cwt.) fell from $21.79 to $19.76.

Rates of Production
  • Milk sold per cow rose from 25,060 pounds in 2011 to 25,681 pounds in 2012, a change of 2.5 percent.
  • Hay dry matter per acre averaged 3.2 tons, down 11 percent from 2011, while corn silage per acre increased from 16.6 to 17.5 tons.

Cost Control
  • Dairy feed and crop expense per cwt. of milk rose from $7.55 in 2011 to $8.24 in 2012, an increase of 9.1 percent.
  • In 2012, purchased input cost of producing a cwt. of milk was $16.79, a decrease of 1 percent relative to 2011.
  • Total cost of producing a cwt. of milk fell from $19.10 to $19.00.

Size of Business
  • The average number of cows per farm rose 4.6 percent.
  • Worker equivalents per farm rose about 7.5 percent to 16 in 2012, while cows per worker fell slightly from 48 to 47.
  • Total tillable acres increased 4.1 percent. 

Final Thoughts

Owners of dairy farm businesses cooperate in Cornell University Cooperative Extensionís DFBS Program for purposes of identifying strengths and weaknesses by comparing their results to results of other cooperators. Are you interested in realizing the benefits of DFBS participation? To learn more contact John Hanchar Ė for contact information please see information at the front of this newsletter.

For other preliminary results see the teamís website under AgFocus.











calendar of events

Upcoming Events

Weed Resistance Management Demonstration and Plot Tour

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 23, 2019
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Waterloo, NY

Come join us on July 23 in Seneca County at Quinten Good's farm for a demonstration and walking tour of 16 different pre- and post-emergence treatments in soybean and 12 different treatments and combinations in corn.
  • Tall waterhemp and marestail are two weeds that are resistant to glyphosate and ALS herbicide modes of action in the WNY and Finger Lakes regions.
  • Each year the number of acres with resistant weed populations expands.
  • For herbicides to be an effective tool in weed management, we have to know what chemistries & application timings are most effective against these resistant weeds.

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Income and Real Property Tax Primer-A Learning Circle for Women Non-Operating Land Owners of Ag Land

July 24, 2019
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Portageville, NY

For many of us taxes can be a mystery, let's have a conversation with the experts about the tax considerations agricultural landowners need to think about. 
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Pasture Walk with the Finger Lakes Graziers-Cancelled!

July 29, 2019
12:45 - 4 pm

The Finger Lakes Graziers pasture walk has been cancelled due to some scheduling conflicts. 
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RMA Announces Additional One-time Changes to Prevented Planting Provisions

June 29, 2019

RMA Announces Additional One-time Changes to Prevented Planting Provisions
for 2019 Crop Year

In response to delayed and prevented planting resulting from above average rainfall and wetness, the USDA Risk Management Agency has made a one-time change to the 2019 crop year prevented planting rules that effectively allows silage corn, if planted as a cover crop following local agricultural expert guidelines, to be acceptable as a post-prevented planting cover crop. Under this one-time rule change, producers are allowed to produce this crop while retaining their prevented planting payment. This change couples with previously announced one-time changes to the prevented planting rules - including expanded acceptable uses for post-prevented planting cover crops and a change in the cover crop haying and grazing start date rule - serve to help those struggling to meet their forage needs due to the weather.

Read the full article from the New York Crop Insurance Education Program.

The USDA-RMA states that "For crop insurance purposes, a cover crop is a crop generally recognized by agricultural experts as agronomically sound for the area for erosion control or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement." PRO-DAIRY specialists Joe Lawrence and Karl Czymmek and Dr. Quirine Ketterings, Professor and Director of Cornell Nutrient Management Spear Program have released a letter stating "Corn on Prevented Planting acres meets these objectives."

New Guidance for Mortality Disposal Issued

NYS Department of Ag and Markets has posted guidelines on disposal of livestock carcasses, in response to reports that some rendering companies have halted pickups from farms.|1