Three out of four Midwest dairy budgets for November were showing positive returns after all costs were included. The budgets are prepared each month by Robert Tigner, an Extension educator with the University of Nebraska.
Freestall herds producing 24,000 lb. of milk/cow were netting $2.71/cwt; 20,000 lb. herds were netting $1.02/cwt. Tie stall herds producing 24,000 lb./cow were netting $1.52/cwt. The only category of herds not making it into the black were tie stall herds producing 20,000 lb./cow, posting a loss of 36¢/cwt.
Labor is one of the biggest issues for these tie stall herds, coming in at over $4/cwt at the low production level. In contrast, the 24,000 lb. freestall herd has an estimated labor cost of $2.27/cwt.
But one of the big reasons for a profitable November was that the Producer Price Differential rose 49¢/cwt over October, rising to $1.30/cwt.
“Feed prices also dropped, corn down 4¢/bu, soybean meal down $17.90 per ton and fat dropped by about 1¢//lb.,” says Tigner. “All of these changes led to an increase of 46¢/cwt. for the 20,000 pound freestall budget and 53¢/s for the 24,000 pound freestall budget.”