UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The perception is often that milk producers can do very little to control milk price and on-farm profitability. But, this isn’t true; producers can learn to manage risk to control their future.
In March, Penn State Dairy Alliance will host a series of one-day workshops, Managing Your Milk Margin to Improve Your Dairy Cash Flow.
During the workshop, annual cash flows will be evaluated for each farm, and producers will learn more about risk management as it relates to their operation’s income over feed cost and milk margin break-even.
Participants should bring the following information to the workshop:
1. Rations fed to all the animal groups on the farm from baby calves to lactating cows. This also includes prices for all purchased feed ingredients.
2. Acreage and tonnage for all crops grown on the farm.
3. Costs related to seed, chemical, fertilizer and crop custom hire.
Participants are encouraged to contact Dairy Alliance if they have any questions or concerns about this information for their operation.
With this information, participants will leave the workshop with their total purchased feed costs for the year on the entire herd and their direct costs for producing home grown feeds.
Participants are also encouraged to fill out the annual cash flow two-page worksheet found at www.das.psu.edu/dairy-alliance/education/profitability.
This will allow producers to know their break-even margin/cwt. and to determine if the market is offering opportunities to cover their margin. In addition, they will learn various risk management strategies that may be available to them, including LGM insurance.
Penn State specialists in risk management will be assisting producers with their information. Penn State Extension educators Tim Beck, Rebecca White, Virginia Ishler, Gene Schurman, and Gary Sheppard will be involved in the workshops, along with other local specialists.
The workshop will be offered from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following dates at these sites:
• March 9 — Cambria County: Keystone Restaurant, U.S. Route 22 W. and PA Route 164, Munster, Pa.;
• March 10 — Westmoreland County: Penn State Cooperative Extension Office, Donohoe Center, 214 Donohoe Rd, Suite E, Greensburg, Pa.;
• March 22 — Centre County: Centre County/Penn State Visitor Center, 800 E. Park Ave., State College, Pa.;
• March 23 — Lancaster County: Yoder’s Country Market, 14 S. Tower Rd, New Holland, Pa.;
• March 24 — Bradford County: Edgewood Restaurant, 565 Elmira Street, Troy, Pa.;
• March 25 — Mercer County: Hampton Inn & Suites Grove City, 4 Holiday Blvd., Mercer, Pa..
Registration and cost
The cost to register is $15. Advance registration is required. To register, contact the Penn State Dairy Alliance office, 888-373-7232, or register online with a credit card at www.dairyalliance.org.
The workshop is sponsored in part by the USDA Risk Management Agency. It qualifies for one SmartStart credit through AgChoice Farm Credit.