Budgets prepared by Robert Tigner, a dairy Extension educator with the University of Nebraska, show losses are emerging for Midwest herds averaging 20,000 lb. of milk per cow. Those herds that are getting 24,000 lb/cow are still showing positive returns for November.
“The budget shows that due to corn price increases and a decline in milk price have caused a loss to dairy producers who sell 20,000 lb. of milk per cow, which is a very typical rate of sales for dairy farms in Iowa and Nebraska,” he says.
The budgeted milk price for November was $17.91. Corn was budgeted at $5.32/bu, soybean meal at $342/ton, cottonseed at $220/ton and dairy hay at $132.50/ton. The breakeven milk price for a 20,000 lb. cow in a tie stall facility was $19.79 and for a similar cow in freestalls was $18.18. The higher cost in tie stalls was due to higher labor requirements. The 24,000 lb./cow breakeven was $17.78 in tie stalls and $16.37 in freestalls.
“December milk prices declined from early October to mid November but have risen since. So the December milk budget will likely be near current levels of loss or near break-even,” says Tigner.