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Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:28 am
by dave_shelby
I have a little bit of experience with dairy as we had family friend who owned a dairy. The son took over, incidentally, and went organic and now take vacations to the Bahamas etc. a long way from the poverty of youth milking 40 head.

My general plan is to hire help, while I work from home. So cash flow for the first years shouldn't be an issue. Of course now price of cows is high, not a great time to start.

I have finally got around to crunching numbers from grazing farms in MD. Some are doing quite well and some are not managed quite well and middling along. Some reasons are obvious and some aren't, which concerns me. I don't feel comfortable jumping in when you can't predict ROI. But the positive note was that folks have been more profitable with grazing dairy farms coupled with organic prices in a seasonal dairy. And if you can do it in MD with higher land, tax and labor prices it should be better in MO for example. Right?

Thanks for the input on WI farms, their websites claim grass milk is the way to go.

Btw, all this talk of grass fed milk inspired my wife to it and she really likes the taste. I know here are a lot of variables, but now the mrs is buying it. Lol.

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:41 pm
by Aston02
Hiiii all,

I grew up in Arkansas, and have lived in Missouri.
I much prefer Missouri, for a variety of reasons. The taxes are generally much lower, for one. Missouri politics aren't nearly as lopsided as Arkansas'. Arkansas is roughly 90% Democrat, though they tend to be somewhat conservative.
Real estate prices are similar. I believe that Missouri is much more a livestock state than Arkansas, though the latter does have a good bit. The eastern third of Arkansas is pretty much entirely crop land.

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:46 pm
by cbcr
Just as dun mentioned Missouri has declined in dairy. Just returned from the World Dairy Expo and Missouri had a booth there. Our county shows having between 1,000 and 3,000 cows. Many of the counties around us have no dairy. Most of the dairying in Missouri is in the Southwest part of the state.

If you are considering Missouri, you may want to check, but Missouri has some kind of incentive for dairy producers wishing to locate in the state. You may also want to check with other states to see if they have any programs for new dairies.

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:31 pm
by Son of Butch
dave_shelby wrote:Is this what you are talking about - http://extension.missouri.edu/p/g3052 MO Ozarks has some good looking farms for sale. Good grass and temperate. Whats driving people out, I could see a decade ago, but milk prices are good now
What a difference a year makes.

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:34 pm
by Stocker Steve
dun wrote:No money in dairying. Most of the guys that are still doing it are tickled pink because they;re finally getting caught up on the last 5 years of being behind on their bills.


Fewer dairies here but more cows. The biggest one is rumored to be expanding from 40,000 to 50,000 cows. "get BIG or get out"

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:58 am
by cbcr
Here is a link to the incentive program: http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-dairy-revitalization-act-brings-high-hopes-for-farmers/

In the story, it mentions that Missouri is a milk deficit state and we are having to bring milk in from outside of the state for processors.

The prices for milk vary too, here locally the price is from $3.36 per gallon and up. While attending the World Dairy Expo, we bought a gallon of milk in Wisconsin for $2.26 and saw a sign afterward for another store that the price there was $1.98.

It is true that dairies are getting larger and expanding.

The cost for replacements and cows can vary too. If I were starting out in dairy today, I would look more at buying a herd from a producer that is wanting to retire. If buying from other sources, I would definitely look at crossbred cows, (Fleckvieh, Montbeliarde, Viking Reds). These cows are producing right with their Holstein herdmates, but they hold up with better health as well as fertility. The Fleckvieh as a breed is the second largest breed in the World in numbers behind the Holstein.

We represent as a registry, the "Non-Traditional" breeds, and we are seeing several of the top Holstein herds, (many have bulls in bull studs), now beginning to cross and upgrade to purebred status with these breeds. On the recent August genetic evaluations, in looking at the Elite Cow List, our breeds represented 62% of the cows on the list excluding Holstein and Jersey. Also it was interesting to see that the top cow for Net Merit $ by every breed was a crossbred cow.

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:34 am
by Son of Butch
cbcr wrote:We represent as a registry, the "Non-Traditional" breeds,..... our breeds represented 62% of the cows on the list excluding Holstein and Jersey.

That's like me bragging about being the smartest kid in the dumb class.

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:02 pm
by TexasBred
Son of Butch wrote:
cbcr wrote:We represent as a registry, the "Non-Traditional" breeds,..... our breeds represented 62% of the cows on the list excluding Holstein and Jersey.

That's like me bragging about being the smartest kid in the dumb class.

:lol: :lol: :clap: :clap: :lol: :lol:

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 9:49 pm
by cbcr
Criticism is OK. To many producers if it isn't the Black and White Holstein, it isn't a diary cow. How many Holstein cows can give birth to twins and produce over 50,000 lbs of milk in a lactation only to have twins again and still producing a second lactation over 50,000 lbs of milk. We deal with criticism everyday, with other breeds and groups not wanting to recognize or acknowledge that other breeds exist and can complete and be more profitable than what they are used to.

But the producers that are crossbreeding are seeing returns in more ways than one. While the Holstein is capable of producing milk, producers are getting tired of selling cows in their first or second lactation due to health and/or reproductive issues. Many raise their own replacements, but they need them to replace cows that they have had to cull and barely have enough replacements. When producers are culling fewer cows and don't need as many replacements, they now have surplus animals to sell, which return far greater profit than selling cull cows. Another advantage when selling bull calves off the farm, when using the Fleckvieh or Montbeliarde the calves look like a black baldy and with these markings when the time comes to send them to market they don't get docked like they would if it were a Holstein.

When producers cross breed, the production with these crossbreeds is holding and producing very well right along side of their Holstein herdmates, but with higher components of fat and protein.

Replacements cost to raise, (this is true whether you are talking dairy or beef), but if they can't stay in the herd long enough to recoup the cost of raising them, that is money that can't be recovered.

We have one member that went back and looked thru his records. In a year that he had an equal number of Holstein and Crossbred heifers born, after looking the information up, he discovered that he only had 1 Holstein left in the herd in production compared to still having 9 of the crossbred cows.

When looking at the Elite Cow List, when we started 2 years ago, our breeds represented around 49% of the animals on the list excluding Holstein and Jersey.

We have moved into the age of genomics with our "Red" breeds and we are continually showing better genomic results than the Ayrshire animals that have been genomic tested.

Internationally, the Fleckvieh is the second largest breed in numbers only behind the Holstein.

So, if you are implying that producers with crossbred dairy cows are smarter, then we appreciate your comments!! Even bankers are beginning to open their eyes to the advantages of these "Non-Traditional" breeds. This is a new era in the dairy industry not just here in North America, but globally as well. These breeds are here to stay!!!

best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:40 am
by Georgelara
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Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:52 pm
by TexasBred
cbcr wrote:Internationally, the Fleckvieh is the second largest breed in numbers only behind the Holstein.

So, if you are implying that producers with crossbred dairy cows are smarter, then we appreciate your comments!! Even bankers are beginning to open their eyes to the advantages of these "Non-Traditional" breeds. This is a new era in the dairy industry not just here in North America, but globally as well. These breeds are here to stay!!!


YOu better be able to get BIG if you plan to survive. I'm talking many thousands of head in one location and location is becoming more and more of a problem for future dairy operations. The day of the mom and pop 40 cow dairy is history unless you plan to try to fill some small niche market. Only thing that can meet the demand here is the holsteins, jerseys and crosses from the two.

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:20 pm
by frieghttrain
I wouldn't choose Montbeliarde a dairy farm that milks 250 head by us says they have really bad hooves.

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:24 pm
by cbcr
TexasBred wrote:
cbcr wrote:Internationally, the Fleckvieh is the second largest breed in numbers only behind the Holstein.

So, if you are implying that producers with crossbred dairy cows are smarter, then we appreciate your comments!! Even bankers are beginning to open their eyes to the advantages of these "Non-Traditional" breeds. This is a new era in the dairy industry not just here in North America, but globally as well. These breeds are here to stay!!!


YOu better be able to get BIG if you plan to survive. I'm talking many thousands of head in one location and location is becoming more and more of a problem for future dairy operations. The day of the mom and pop 40 cow dairy is history unless you plan to try to fill some small niche market. Only thing that can meet the demand here is the holsteins, jerseys and crosses from the two.


You say this comment, but why is it that some of the top Holstein herds in the country are also crossbreeding? Seagull Bay Dairy, who bred Seagull Bay Supersire, which is one of the two top bulls of the Holstein breed that they bred. Here is a link to an article that was recently published. http://www.dairyherd.com/magazine/crossing-pure-profit

A Montbeliarde cow in a California herd calved with twins, produced over 50,000 lbs of milk, had twins a second time and had another lactation of over 50,000.

If you are selling cows in their first or second lactation, with the costs involved to raise those replacements, is not very profitable. But on the other hand if you can have an animal that can stay around for 5 or more lactations, makes a lot more sense. Many producers have had a hard time keeping enough replacements to replace cows that have to be culled. With crossbreds, producers have surplus animals to sell, have a much healthier herd, production is pretty equal to Holsteins.

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:58 am
by TexasBred
You bring out the exception rather than the rule.

http://www.progressivedairy.com/topics/ ... -pound-cow

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:36 am
by Stocker Steve
There are different approaches and different locations for different business models. But, it is hard to optimize when milk prices change so fast. In the past, reports were:

- New Zealand was the best place for a grazing diary with cross bred cows.
- South western US was the best place for high production confinement dairy with purebred cows.

We continue to see traditional diaries close in our local area, with many of the folks that are planning to continue transitioning to organic. The major growth regionally is in 10,000+cow industrial diaries staffed by Hispanics along the MN/SD border.