Cows at bunk
June 17, 2016

May Dairy Budgets Take a Hit

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

Dairy budgets for farmers in the western cornbelt bled red in May due to lower gross income and higher feed costs.

“The returns to milk production worsened by 84¢/cwt. for the 20,000 pound freestall budget and 89¢ for the 24,000 pound freestall budget,” says Robert Tigner, a University of Nebraska Extension dairy educator.

The milk price declined from just under $15/cwt to $14.38 in May, and corn, soybean meal and cottonseed prices all jumped. And these feed prices don’t reflect more recent upward market moves.

The bottom line is that returns to management, after all costs are considered including labor, dropped to -$2.59/cwt for freestall herds producing 20,000 lb. of milk per cow annually and to -$1.14/cwt for herds producing 24,000 lb. of milk per cow.

Tie stall herds, with their higher labor costs, were even worse off. Herds producing 20,000 lb. of milk per cow were losing almost $4/cwt; 24,000 lb. herds were losing $2.26/cwt.