‘Throughout 2020 and these times of COVID-19, we have had periods of uncertainty and adjustment not only personally but also affecting the farm,’ says Pauline Van Biert, research analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF). ‘For the dairy farmer, demand for milk production has fluctuated as processors made adjustments to meet changes in the marketplace.’
She says that many farmers mention having a business analysis that leads to a written plan for their farm, contributes to their peace of mind. It allows for better coping mechanisms when facing uncertainty and stress. Dairy farmers in Alberta can start this process by having a farm business analysis prepared through participation in the Dairy Cost Study program.
‘Dairy farming and milk production is becoming more complex, and farmers need to be resilient and flexible,’ she adds. ‘Having current cost of production numbers removes the guesswork and helps farmers look at and think about farm management options. The analysis available through the Dairy Cost Study program, offered at no charge by AF, can help identify strengths and weaknesses and focus on moo-ving forward.’
‘Do you know what it cost you to produce a kilogram of butterfat? How much does it cost you to feed one cow to get how much milk? Can you afford that new skid steer? Or a trip to Mexico? Participate in the study to get your report and get answers to your questions.’
Using the business analysis provided from the study, farmers can benchmark themselves with others.
‘Benchmarking is basically grading yourself to others in a similar business,’ explains Van Biert. ‘Are your numbers good, average or poor? Use benchmarking to assess and see what is different from others, recognize areas your farm is performing well and increase knowledge scope. Further your knowledge on the cost of milk production in Alberta by referencing the latest Economics of Milk Production benchmark report.’
Register for the 2021 Dairy Cost Study.
For more information or to sign up for the 2021 Dairy Cost Study, connect with Pauline Van Biert:
For media inquiries about this article, call Alberta Agriculture and Forestry's media line: