Identifying Drivers of Profitability on Commerical Dairies
KEY POINTS Zoetis teamed with a Midwest agricultural banking and consulting institution to identify dairy operating measures that correlate with the financial health of contemporary dairy farms (Data on file, Dairy Scorecard Project no. 14CARGOTH01, Zoetis LLC) Somatic cell count, death loss, and net herd replacement cost were negatively correlated with profitability, while energy-corrected (ECM) milk per cow per day, heifer survival rate and 21-day pregnancy risk were positively correlated with profitability. Maintaining high volumes of quality milk per cow per day was predictive of higher profitability. Inferences from data suggest high productivity was achieved by having a skilled work force capable of maintaining healthy lactating and replacement animals, maintaining efficient reproduction, and limiting culling and death losses. Among herds of at least 500 lactating cows, size of the lactating herd and total quantity of milk shipped had no impact on profitability (expressed as net farm income per hundredweight (cwt) of energy-corrected milk). With its extensive portfolio of dairy products, service offerings and technical expertise, Zoetis is well positioned to help dairies achieve greater profitability by improving both cattle health and productivity measures.
Finance; Profitability; Somatic cell count; Herd turnover