; Developing Dairy Producer Peer Groups in Kansas | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Developing Dairy Producer Peer Groups in Kansas

Kristen Schulte


In recent years dairy enterprise returns have been extremely variable due to an increase of volatility in milk and feed prices. Producers need to know the strengths and weaknesses of their operations and how their milk revenue relates to inputs in order to manage the financial and production related risks. Within Kansas, individual farm benchmark comparison is limited due to dairies being structurally diverse between regions of the state.

Dairy Producer Peer Groups were formed so producers can better understand how their operations fare relative to similar operations and to provide peer-learning opportunities related to production, market, and financial risk. This project has initiated three dairy producer peer groups across several regions in Kansas.

Each group meets quarterly with meetings comprised of two sections: benchmarking and general education. The benchmarking section reports results for key production and financial measures such as price, production, reproduction rates, culling rates, and feed prices. Individual and group statistical measures are reported allowing producers to benchmark their farm over time and to the group’s measures. The second portion of the meetings is devoted to general education on a topic chosen by the group such as marketing, new aspects of production and technology, and feed management.

Producers who participate in these groups are able to use the benchmarking comparisons to evaluate their own operations and make plans to change their operations based on this information. Peer group coordinators continually evaluate the learning and application of information by producers to change or enhance the program.