April 2018 Dairy Budget

Periodically I revise the livestock costs section of my Iowa-Nebraska dairy budgets. To do this I use the University of MN FinBin farm financial database. The costs revised are drawn from the200-500 cow benchmark data published by the U of MN Center for Farm Financial Management. The last time these costs were revised was May 2015. Livestock costs rose $2.465 per cwt. compared to 3 years ago. Due to this revision, comparison to previous month’s dairy budgets is more difficult. The intent of the budget is to indicate whether net returns to dairy farms is increasing or decreasing month to month.


The April 2018 Dairy Budget can be found here.  The following comments refer to the 20,000 pound freestall budget. Compared to March 2018, feed cost rose by $0.9282 per cwt. All feed costs rose including an adjustment to the cost of feeding calves. Calf feeding costs is one of the periodic revisions I make. Income rose slightly in April 2018 due to increased butterfat prices, $0.201 per cwt. Net return to management is -$3.79 per cwt., $2.09 lower than March 2018 but some of that $2.09 was due to revisions to the livestock costs mentioned above. All of the budgets show negative returns to management. The 24,000 pound freestall budget comes closest to covering all costs.