Business Management

Good business management skills are essential as the dairy cattle industry increases in complexity. Find spreadsheets, dairy herd metrics, tips on record-keeping and cash-flow planning. Find advice on modernization, pricing and milk futures.

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David Swartz, Penn State
Dairy Outlook: May 2018 - Articles Articles

Dairy Outlook: May 2018

David L. Swartz, Robert C. Goodling, Jr., Timothy Beck, Virginia A. Ishler

Long term survival of a dairy operation will hinge on management’s ability to find ways to push the cost of production below $17.50/cwt while maintaining some level of reinvestment in the operation. More
Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS, Maryland
Dairy Sense: The “Other” Enterprise on Dairies - Articles Articles
If forage needs for the herd are being met, crop sales may offer an additional revenue stream for dairy farms. More
Photo by Lynn Betts, USDA NRCS
Dairy Sense: Fixing Broken Financials - Articles Articles
Troubleshooting financials begins with evaluating liquidity, solvency, efficiency and profitability. This will require updating the income statement, cash flow and balance sheets. More
MPP (Margin Protection Program) for Dairy - Question and Answer Sessions
MPP (Margin Protection Program) for Dairy - Question and Answer Sessions - Webinars Webinars
Free
Have questions about MPP? Want to learn more about MPP and if its right for your dairy farm? Join in on a Question and Answer Webinar to learn more. More
"duck-2166056" alexas_fotos, pixabay.com CC0
Dairy Outlook: April 2018 - Articles Articles

Dairy Outlook: April 2018

Robert C. Goodling, Jr., David L. Swartz, Timothy Beck, Virginia A. Ishler

Pennsylvania dairy cash flows continue to be upside down as income over feed cost and milk margins shrink and are below breakeven levels. More
Credit Squeeze by Stevepb on pixabay.com cc0
Dairy Outlook: March 2018 - Articles Articles

Dairy Outlook: March 2018

David L. Swartz, Robert C. Goodling, Jr., Virginia A. Ishler, Timothy Beck

With cow numbers steady, increasing domestic milk production, robust inventory of dairy products, and other factors, there are no market signals to indicate strength for future milk prices. More
Roller Coaster by dlohner on pixabay.com cc0
Dairy Outlook: February 2018 - Articles Articles

Dairy Outlook: February 2018

David L. Swartz, Robert C. Goodling, Jr., Timothy Beck, Virginia A. Ishler

All milk price for December 2017 showed the anticipated drop from the previous month. Feed price were steady, created a slightly smaller Income over Feed Cost opportunity. More
Dairy Sense: Formula to Profitability is MBA
Dairy Sense: Formula to Profitability is MBA - Articles Articles
Successful farms implement good management practices, find balance in their various enterprises, and invest in appropriate assets. More
Dairy Sense: Qualifying for the Six Pound Club
Dairy Sense: Qualifying for the Six Pound Club - Articles Articles
Increasing milk components can boost milk price even if milk volume stays the same. More
"Glass-milk-white-cows-milk" by Pezibear on pixabay.com CC0
Dairy Outlook: January 2018 - Articles Articles

Dairy Outlook: January 2018

David L. Swartz, Robert C. Goodling, Jr., Virginia A. Ishler, Timothy Beck

Current predicted Class III price for the first 11 months of 2018 is averaging $14.57/cwt. To face the year with optimism is to be sure dairy producers really understand their cost of production. More
Photo credit: Matt Gabler
Dairy Sense: Know Your Herd’s Feed Costs? - Articles Articles
Maintaining positive cash flow on dairy farms requires good management of cropping, feeding, and financials. More
Photo credit: Dave Swartz
Dairy Sense: The Major Influencer of Cash Flow Mechanics - Articles Articles
Focus on total pounds of milk produced, not milk per cow, for positive cash flow. More
"Open road stormy sky" Desertrose7, pixabay.com CC0
Dairy Outlook: November 2017 - Articles Articles

Dairy Outlook: November 2017

David L. Swartz, Robert C. Goodling, Jr., Timothy Beck, Virginia A. Ishler

Markets continue to move sideways with little prospect for forecast price improvement. None of the factors that are well known give much optimism for price improvement More
Photo credit: Shannon Wingert
Milk Price, Feed Cost, and Margin: A Historical Perspective - Articles Articles
Fluctuating milk prices and feed costs stress dairy operations' cash flow. Making decisions based on milk margin and income over feed cost are crucial to profitability. More
Robert Goodling, Penn State
Dairy Outlook: October 2017 - Articles Articles

Dairy Outlook: October 2017

David L. Swartz, Robert C. Goodling, Jr., Timothy Beck, Virginia A. Ishler

October dairy outlook: little potential for increases in milk price; feed prices trending downward; harvests provide breathing room to milk margin/IOFC for Pennsylvania producers. More
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