Your profits are in your hands, says new DairyCo report

Published 16 January 12

Your profits are in your hands, says new DairyCo report

The relationship between cost of production and profit is much stronger than many farmers realise, says DairyCo's first Milkbench+ report. It shows that cost of production is the most significant factor in determining profit. 

The report, which has been written using analysis of data from 330 farms across GB, sets out to offer GB dairy farmers an opportunity to see how they can make their businesses work hardest for their benefit.

Milkbench+ analyst Karolina Klaskova says: "Through robust data and statistical analysis we see that the relationship between cost of production and margin is strong."

Ms Klaskova acknowledges that the findings are challenging. "The report raises many issues, including just how difficult it can be to make a profit from milk production," she says. "But there is a real opportunity for producers because once you have a good handle on your costs of production any extra increase in milk price will go straight onto your net margin.   

"In the report we identify three key enterprise types and the factors that drive an increase in net margin for each of these systems," she explains. "The impact that these factors have on returns varies considerably, but they demonstrate that the need to fit the system that you use to your own circumstances has never been more important."

DairyCo director Duncan Pullar says: "As well as providing crucial information for dairy farmers this report will now help all those involved in supporting dairy farmers to target their farm improvement programmes more effectively."

To download a copy of the full Milkbench+ report visit


16 January 2012

For further information:
N:         Helen Fina        
T:         02476 478696

Notes to the editor:


DairyCo Milkbench+

This is the first of an annual series of Milkbench+ reports.

Milkbench+ is an internet-based benchmarking service that allows British dairy farmers to compare how their enterprise is performing against other dairy farms. The service is able to provide users with easy-to-understand summaries of input use, costs and income down to the net margin level. With this information, individual users of the service are able to identify opportunities to improve production efficiency and reduce costs for a better profit from dairying.


In addition to providing this service to individual levy payers, the Milkbench+ dataset as a whole offers us a great opportunity to learn more about the most important factors that determine whether different types of dairy enterprise can be profitable or not. This report presents some of the highlights of our first analysis at this level.


About DairyCo

DairyCo's aim is to promote world class knowledge to British dairy farmers so they can profit from a sustainable future.

To achieve this DairyCo aims to:

  • ·         Ensure farmers have access to world class information needed to improve competitiveness, GHG reduction and productivity
  • ·         Ensure farmers have access to direct and indirect support to help them improve their profitability through better business management
  • ·         Ensure that dairy farming is reducing its impact on the environment
  • ·         Ensure farmers understand the benefits of breeding and use the related tools

DairyCo is funded entirely by milk producers, via a statutory levy on all milk sold off-farm, at the rate of 0.06p per litre.  This provides an annual income of around £6.5m.

DairyCo is a division of the statutory levy board, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).