It will take years to recover from 2009

Hoard's Dairyman: 

It will take years to recover from 2009

Date: 
Mon, 06/06/2011

Western herds’ net income ranged from $89 to $252 per head last year, reports Moore, Stephens, Wurth, Frazer, and Torbet, Certified Public Accountants and Consultants. That compares to $585 to $962 losses per cow experienced during 2009. Based on the small profits earned last year, it could take between four to six years to earn back equity lost during 2009. That estimate assumes that current milk prices and costs would hold somewhat constant in upcoming years which we all know will not happen.

Within California, Kern County dairy producers had the greatest gains, making $242 per cow compared to $141 in the San Joaquin Valley and $89 in Southern California. On a per-hundredweight basis, returns ranged from 36 cents to $1.19 for California herds.

Among other western regions and states, Arizona led the way with $252 profit per cow. They were followed by: the Texas Panhandle, $167; New Mexico, $162; and Idaho and the Pacific Northwest at $90. On a per-hundredweight basis, returns ranged from Arizona’s $1.13 to Idaho’s $0.43.


Feed costs are still running high. In California, they ranged from $1,599 to $1,649 per head or $7.46 to $7.66 per-hundredweight. In the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s study on dairy farm costs, it reports that concentrate costs averaged $4.51 per-hundredweight last year which is down from the two previous years. However, those costs are still much higher than prior to 2007.

To read the entire financial summary for the 281,000 cows in the Moore, Stephens, Wurth, Frazer, and Torbet report, please download the attached PDF.