USDA report shows net returns better for larger dairy farms


Large dairy farms have significant financial advantages over small-to-midsize farms, according to a report released by the USDA.

From 2005-2018, the average net return size for herds of more than 1,000 head exceeded other herd sizes.


Because of lower average costs to produce milk, larger farms are able to turn a profit in situations where smaller farms wouldn’t.

Overall, net returns of farms with more than 1,000 head were $1.12 for hundredweight and positive net returns were averaged 10 out of the 14 years.

Meanwhile, smaller herds between 50 and 199, saw net returns in the negatives each year on average.

According to the USDA, the persistent differences in net returns have led to structural changes in the dairy industry, with cows and production shifting away from smaller farms and toward larger ones.

Agriculture Shows
From soil to harvest. Top Crop is an all-new series about four of the best farmers in the world—Dan Luepkes, of Oregan, Illinois; Cory Atley, of Cedarville, Ohio; Shelby Fite, of Jackson Center, Ohio; Russell Hedrick, of Hickory, North Carolina—reveals what it takes for them to make a profitable crop. It all starts with good soil, patience, and a strong planter setup.
Champions of Rural America is a half-hour dive into the legislative priorities for Rural America. Join us as we interview members of the Congressional Western Caucus to learn about efforts in Washington to preserve agriculture and tackles the most important topics in the ag industry on Champions of Rural America!
Farm Traveler is for people who want to connect with their food and those who grow it. Thanks to direct-to-consumer businesses, agritourism, and social media, it’s now easier than ever to learn how our food is made and support local farmers. Here on the Farm Traveler, we want to connect you with businesses offering direct-to-consumer products you can try at home, agritourism sites you can visit with your family, and exciting new technologies that are changing how your food is being grown.
Featuring members of Congress, federal and state officials, ag and food leaders, farmers, and roundtable panelists for debates and discussions.
Host Ben Bailey hops in the tractor cab, giving farmers 10 minutes to answer as many questions and grab as much cash as they can for their local FFA chapter.