Managing Your Milk Margin to Improve Your Dairy's Cash Flow
Posted: September 27, 2012
Over the past three years, Penn State has helped hundreds of dairy producers complete cash flow plans to learn breakeven numbers for income over feed costs, Class III milk price and milk margin. The focus was on how to use risk management to protect margin, which is extremely important. However, what is the one production area that has the potential to dramatically alter farm profitability? Decisions made regarding cropping strategies, focusing on transitioning to different cropping plans, altering acreage, changing the forage program for the lactating cows and improving feed inventory. Penn State has developed this workshop to help producers complete a cash flow plan and determine their income over feed costs/milk margin breakeven. In addition, a crop expert will share how successful farms transition into various cropping programs, i.e. double cropping, utilizing cover crops, etc. Precision feeding will also be addressed, including how feeding high forage-based diets can result in high performance and improved income over feed costs.
AM session: The morning provides a hands-on opportunity to actually complete the individual’s dairy cash flow plan. Extension specialists will be available to work with individual producers to assist in entering all pertinent information related to rations for the whole herd, cropping information and annual cash flow numbers.
PM session: Discussion on transitioning into different cropping plans and precision feeding. The one strategy that empowers producers to weather the price volatility of feeds is to optimize the crops grown on farm. However, quality and quantity are critical if animal performance is to be maintained or improved. Strategies to implement and manage these practices will be discussed.
Contact Information: The Penn State Extension Dairy Team can present this
training to groups of 5-8 dairy farms at any location in PA on the dates listed above. Companies and organizations interested in presenting this workshop to their
producers should contact Virginia Ishler, Penn State nutrient management specialist, at 814-863-3912 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Tim Beck, Extension Educator, at 717-240-6502 or email@example.com. The $40 per farm registration covers the cost of training and materials, plus lunch. Husband and wife dairy partners are encouraged to attend together.