An Inside Look at 2,500+ Cow Dairies: 70 pounds, $1.4M profit

January 14, 2016 09:35 AM

By Lucas Sjostrom

In the times of both high feed and high milk costs, large dairy farms with land in the Upper Midwest look to be very profitable endeavors. While every location and farm is different, large farms can generally see a benefit in asset and labor utilization, specialized care, and lower wages as employees can take over jobs typically offered to higher-paid specialists and consultants, like veterinarians.

As these larger farms become normal in the Upper Midwest, the University of Minnesota examined the animal welfare, management, and economics of a cross-section of 15 dairies with over 2,500 cows in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, averaging 4,972 cows. Dr. Marcia Endres and graduate student Tyler Evink completed the study, which totaled a full third of such operations in the region at the time.


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Spell Check

Addison, VT
1/14/2016 10:39 AM

  1.4million in profit on 4972 cows is only 281$ per cow.Our farm credit lender likes to see my farm over 1000 $ in profit per cow.We have achieved that much and more over the years with a125 cow herd.If the numbers in the article are correct these large herds are simply adding cows to cover up some management flaws.Seems like a very inefficient way to generate profit.


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