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Dairy Farm Business Summary & Analysis Program

  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Animal Science
  • Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

This fact sheet authored by PRO-DAIRY business management specialists Mary Kate MacKenzie and Jason Karszes was shared in the October 2023 PRO-DAIRY e-Leader newsletter, distributed to an email list of nearly 7,000 dairy producers, agriservice, and legislators.


The Dairy Farm Business Summary & Analysis Project (DFBS) is one of the longest applied research efforts within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University that interacts directly with rural stakeholders of the land grant mission. The DFBS started as a project in 1956 and works with dairy farm families to analyze financial and business performance over time, with the objective to improve business and financial management within the dairy industry using modern analysis techniques and historical farm data.  

In 2022, the milk price paid to farms reached a 30-year high, according to data from New York dairy farms participating in the DFBS. These data also show that 2022 was the third most profitable year in the past thirty, after 2014 and 2007. The average rate of return on all assets without appreciation for the same 130 New York dairy farms rose from 4.2 percent in 2021 to 11.6 percent in 2022.2 Despite this increase in average earnings, variation across individual farms was high, and not all farms were profitable in 2022. DFBS data from 2022 provides insight into key measures of productivity, efficiency, and financial performance for New York dairy farms during a year of strong earnings.

PRO-DAIRY is a nationally recognized extension and applied research leader serving dairy farms for more than 30 years.

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