How much do top dairy farmers make when they pay themselves?
Teagasc recently published its analysis of dairy profit monitor results for 2016. For the first time Teagasc has included an own labour charge (for the farmer’s own and unpaid family labour).
This is a welcome development as it recognises that farmer’s labour input (and that of other unpaid family members) is required and rewarded for the milk produced, according to Tom O’Dwyer, Head of Dairy Knowledge Transfer with Teagsac.
On spring milk dairy farms the estimated own labour efficiency is greater for the top 25pc (4.1 hours less worked per cow) than for the average farm.
After adjusting for own labour the most efficient farms generated €811 more per ha than the average farm.
Among the other highlights on spring milk farms from this years results is that the top farms generated a gross output of €4,402/ha compared to €3,471/ha on the average farms, a difference of 27pc.
The higher output on the top farms reflected a combination of both higher stocking rate (14pc higher) and higher output per cow (9pc higher milk solids output per cow).
Output per ha on the top 25pc of farms was 226 kg milk solids per ha or 23pc higher than on the average farm (9546 kg per ha). This is as a result of a higher stocking rate (+0.33 LU per ha) and higher milk solids yield per cow (+ 37 kg per cow).
Average spring milk dairy farms had lower variable costs than the top farms at €1,367/ha versus €1,496/ha.