Dairy Farm Business Summary, New York Small Herd Farms, 80 Cows or Fewer, 2003

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Dairy farm managers throughout New York State have been participating in Cornell Cooperative Extension's farm business summary and analysis program since the early 1950's. Managers of each participating farm business receive a comprehensive summary and analysis of their farm business. The information in this report represents averages of the data submitted from dairy farms in New York for 2003 with herds of 80 cows or fewer and no milking parlors. Small farms are facing increasing management challenges in their efforts to control costs and remain profitable. This publication reports the average performance and characteristics of small farms and the average of the top 25 percent of those small farms with the highest rate of return on assets without appreciation. Thus, not only can the average performance of small farms be used as a benchmark, but the performance of the most profitable small farms as well. Identifying strengths and areas for improvement by comparing your business to that of similar farms is an important first step in focusing attention on ways to improve the business. Program Objective The primary objective of the dairy farm business summary, DFBS, is to help farm managers improve the business and financial management of their business through appropriate use of historical data and the application of modern farm business analysis techniques. This information can also be used to establish goals that enable the business to better fulfill its mission. In short, DFBS provides business and financial information needed in identifying and evaluating strengths and weaknesses of the farm business. Format Features This report follows the same general format as the 2003 DFBS individual farm report received by participating dairy farmers. The analysis tables have a column that compares the average to the top 25% of the farms by rate of return on all capital without appreciation. This report may be used by any dairy farm manager who wants to compare his or her business with the average data of small farms. The individual farm data, the averages and other data can then be used to establish goals for the business. Non-DFBS participants can download a DFBS Data Check-in Form at After collecting the data on the form, it can be entered in the U. S. Top Dairies business summary program at the same web site to obtain a summary of their business.

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