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Conference Name The Financial Performance Of Grazing, Organic And Confinement Dairy Farms

Thomas Kriegl


Ten Land Grant Universities plus Ontario standardized accounting rules and data collection procedures to gather, pool, summarize and analyze actual farm financial performance from many sustainable, small farming systems which then lacked credible financial data that producers need for decision-making, in a project initially sponsored by USDA IFAFS grant project #00-52501-9708.

This effort, spawned by USDA IFAFS grant project #00-52501-9708, primarily compares Wisconsin grazing dairy farm data to organic and confinement data. However, the Wisconsin data was also compared to the limited amount of organic data collected in other parts of North America.

This project has over 124 farm years of Wisconsin organic dairy farm data spanning twelve years and many more years of data from other Wisconsin dairy systems to help understand the economic competitiveness of these dairy systems.

Insights include:
1. Actual farm financial data from organic dairy farms is still scarce relative to other dairy systems.
2. The financial performance of organic dairy farms looks dramatically different from one part of the country to the other.
3. A number of individual farms are achieving financial success with an organic system.
4. The price premium was very important to the economic competitiveness of organic dairy farms.
5. Grazing dairy farms are economically competitive even with a price medium.

More information about this project can be accessed at http://cdp.wisc.edu.