Alberta Ag and Forestry Offering Dairy Study Program

Alberta Ag and Forestry Offering Dairy Study Program

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry is once again offering the Dairy Cost Study program to Alberta producers.

“With changes in today’s environment and economy, there seems to be renewed interest in building business plans, following cost of production and getting adequate returns for that production,” says Pauline Van Biert, research analyst, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF), Edmonton. “The Dairy Cost Study is a business analysis program that provides economic analysis and farm business management information to dairy producers using their own numbers.”

The Dairy Cost Study is similar to AF’s Agri-Profits program except that it provides a business analysis for just the dairying aspect of the farm. “It breaks down the whole farm activity and costs right down to the cost of producing milk. Results are reported as total costs, costs per cow and costs per hectoliter sold. Dairy farmers can easily see how much investment they have made, costs incurred and revenues received for the milk they are producing.”

Unlike Agri-Profit$, the Dairy Cost Study reports on the current year with farmers filling in their own sheets on a monthly basis starting in January, 2017. A farm visit is also made to those who are new to the program.

Provincial averages, or benchmarks, are also provided for the program. The data from all participants is used to establish these benchmarks. These can be used as reference points by producers to see how they compare to their peers.

“Producers participating in the program tell us that they have become more effective at analyzing, budgeting and planning, and that they are making better management decisions,” says Van Biert. “They understand what their long term average costs are, can identify targets for what their costs should be, and are more effective at identifying business options and opportunities.”

The only cost for the program is in the time invested in it. “In return, the producer receives a business analysis of their own farm, using their own numbers, to use in making profitable management decisions.”

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