; Tools to help Ohio´s Dairy Farmers manage through 2009´s challenging economic conditions | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Tools to help Ohio´s Dairy Farmers manage through 2009´s challenging economic conditions

Dianne Shoemaker


In December 2008, milk prices plummeted to historic lows creating an unprecedented and continuing economic crisis at the farm level. Ohio’s 3,328 dairy producers are struggling with the impact of low milk prices on their businesses. Dairy producers must make good decisions quickly in the current business climate, knowing potential long term impacts on production and profitability. OSU Extension focused efforts on identification of critical issues impacting Ohio dairy producers and providing producers with tools to help manage through this challenging situation. These tools include: “Dairy Issue Briefs” fact sheets, the “15 Measures of Dairy Farm Competitiveness” bulletin, and “Simple and Useful Cost of Production Worksheets”. Throughout 2009, critical on-farm issues were identified by OSUE’s Dairy Working Group. Team members wrote 25 Dairy Issue Briefs (DIBS) addressing these issues in the areas of nutrition and feed costs; reproduction and health; calf and heifer management; business and finance; and people and stress management. Each brief provides a short explanation of the issue, short and long term consequences of different options, and our “Bottom Line” summary. The recently updated 15 Measures bulletin identifies key business measures and benchmarks achieved by competitive Midwest dairy producers with sample calculations and discussion for each. Finally, knowing the farm’s historic and projected costs of production is also critical for Ohio’s dairy farmers. The Cost of Production Worksheets are an effective tool for producers with limited financial information to begin calculating and using cost of production information as they address current critical business issues.