Milking Center Cost Study New York State 2010-2011
Howland, Betsey; Karszes, Jason; Skellie, Kim
Milking centers represent a large investment on dairy farms and the process of harvesting milk uses a large percentage, 34.6%3, of the dairy’s labor force during the year. For these reasons, PRO-DAIRY specialists, in partnership with business consultants from Farm Credit East, ACA and support from the New York Farm Viability Institute, set out to determine the cost of harvesting and storing milk, with an emphasis on milk harvest. A template was developed in partnership with Brad Hilty, of HBI Information Service, Inc. and was used to calculate milk harvest and storage costs. This template is available for download on PRO-DAIRY’s website. The purpose of the study was to determine the areas of the milking center that are the main drivers in milk harvest and storage costs, and to explore how management practices on farms may affect milk harvest costs. The study did not examine milking procedures on farm and their effect on cow health, milk quality, or production.