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Virginia Cooperative Extension - Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Virginia Tech farm management budgets on the internet allows economic evaluation of dairy enterprise.

Dairy Pipeline: May 2002

Charles C. Stallings
Extension Dairy Scientist, Nutrition
(540) 231-4758

A resource that may not be known about is located on the Virginia Cooperative Extension web site ( under "Educational Programs and Resources" followed by "Farm Business Management and Marketing". Selection of "Budgets" allows access to both crop and livestock budgets that are in Excel Spreadsheet format. There are several for dairy production varying in levels of production and type of feeding program. Basically it is possible to input the feeding program (lbs./cow/day) for your farm. This includes rations for the lactating cows, dry cows, and replacement animals. The spreadsheet will in turn calculate the total tons of each feed used on a yearly basis. Also it will calculate the cash expenses associated with the enterprise. Cash expenses include feed costs and costs for breeding, veterinary services, medicine, supplies, DHIA, milk hauling, assessments, repairs, non crop machinery, utilities, labor, insurance custom hire, farm rent, and taxes. Each feed can be assigned a price based on your actual costs. Also price of milk and cull cows can be changed to reflect the current situation. Cash expenses will be subtracted from cash income to determine the return to equity, management and operators labor. The crop budgets can be used to calculate the cost of production of home grown feeds. These budgets were created in January of 2001 but can be modified by using current prices and amounts. Also the Farm Management and Area Dairy Agents have this resource to assist you with managing your enterprise. Contact them if you have need for more information.

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