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Ag Economy

2019 Northeast Dairy Farm Summary

This year’s Northeast Dairy Farm Summary summarizes the results of 267 dairy farms of all sizes, from across the region.


Highlights of the 2019 Northeast Dairy Farm Summary

  • 267 dairy farms participated in the 2019 Northeast Dairy Farm Summary.1
  • Profitability increased in 2019 from 2018. Net earnings increased to an average of $447 per cow in 2019,2 from a loss of -$40 per cow in 2018. This is largely due to an increase in farm milk price of $1.99 per hundredweight (cwt.) to $19.18.
  • Costs declined slightly from 2018 to 2019. Total expenses per cwt. decreased by $0.16 per cwt. to $20.20 in 2019.3
  • Net cost of production4 increased to $17.81 per cwt., $0.09 greater than 2018.
  • Some specific cost categories which changed in 2019 are:
    • Feed expense, a farm’s largest cost, decreased from $1,630 per cow in 2018 to $1,625 in 2019.
    • Labor, a dairy farm’s second largest expense, increased 4.5% per cow, and 2.3% per cwt.
    • Fuel expenses decreased by -6.3% per cow after several years of increases.
  • Productivity increased. Per cow production in our sample herds was 2.0% greater than the prior year. Milk sold per worker increased 6.5% due to more cows per worker, as well as greater per-cow production.
  • Cash flow was sufficient, on average, to meet financial commitments (e.g., operating expenses, debt repayment, family living and income taxes), resulting in an average cash margin per cwt. of $1.43.5 This was a positive shift after four consecutive years of challenging cash margins.
  • Percent net worth in our sample increased to 67%. Total debt-per-cow decreased from $4,257 to $4,061.

1 This year’s DFS contains data from Connecticut, Maine and New York.
2 On an accrual basis, after family living, not including nonfarm income.
3 Including family living.
4 Total farm expense, plus family living, less non-milk income. For more information, see page 8 of the report.
5 See figure 7 of the report.
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