Raising Dairy Replacements: Practices and Costs New York, 1990
Karszes, Jason; Stanton, B.F.
As the dairy industry becomes more competitive and farms increase in size, heifer management may not receive the attention it deserves. Cost savings and increased efficiency may deserve greater attention. An effort was made to investigate management practices now being followed in raising dairy replacements on farms participating in New York's Dairy Farm Business Management Summary program (Smith, et. al.). All participants in the project were asked to answer a series of questions about their current practices in handling their dairy replacements using a mailed questionnaire. The response rate was 56 percent. Only farms with 80 or more milking cows were included in this survey. All of those surveyed were also asked to provide information about individuals who were contracting to raise dairy heifers on some kind of arrangement. This source plus contacts with county extension staff provided a list of the individuals who were operating dairy replacement enterprises. A mailed questionnaire was developed to ask these individuals about their practices and experiences with this enterprise. The response rate was 74 percent. As a final component of this study, personal interview records were obtained from a selected sample of individuals with contracts to grow dairy replacements for others. Estimates of costs for these enterprises were obtained as well as greater detail on the procedures followed with individual groups on these farms. Both costs and returns were calculated. This report provides a preliminary summary of the results obtained from these studies. It provides a way to report to participants in the various parts of the study group averages and initial findings. Their cooperation and willingness to share experiences is appreciated. The variability in the way dairy replacements are handled is given special recognition in this report. A further report analyzing alternative practices and suggesting some of the more successful ways of managing these operations will be issued in the next six months.
A.E. Ext. 91-12
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University