Cost of Production

Wisconsin Calculated Milk Cost of Production

Ken Bolton, UW-Extension, Center for Dairy Profitability






Bolton, Ken and Jenny Vanderlin. University of Wisconsin, Center for Dairy Profitability. April 2011.


Bolton, Ken and Jenny Vanderlin. University of Wisconsin, Center for Dairy Profitability. October 2009.

Bolton, Ken and Gary Frank. University of Wisconsin, Center for Dairy Profitability. September 2009.

Bolton, Ken and Jenny Vanderlin. University of Wisconsin, Center for Dairy Profitability. April 2009.


Gary Frank, Agricultural Economist,UW-Madison/Emeritus, Center for Dairy Profitability. Also available Worksheet and Powerpoint . (Presented at Heart of the Farm Conference in Eau Claire and Oshkosh). March 2008.

Tom Kriegl, , UW-Madison/Extension, Center for Dairy Profitability. February 2008.


A. Zwald, T..L. Kohlman, S. L. Gunderson, P.C. Hoffman, and T. Kriegl. University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension, 2007. (An Intuitive Cost of Production Report (ICPR)

Gregg Hadley, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Center for Dairy Profitability. August 2007.


February 2005. (NOTE: There is a new feature in AgFA Benchmarks which allows you to obtain a 3-year report with only those farms that have data in all years selected. Currently there are 33 farms entered for 2004 that all have data in 2003 and 2002).


Kriegl, Tom and Gary Frank. University of Wisconsin, Center for Dairy Profitability. November 2005.

Jones, Bruce L University of Wisconsin, Center for Dairy Profitability. February 2005.

Grazing and Organic


Jones, Bruce L. University of Wisconsin, Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics. September 2006.

Prepared by Tom Kriegl, UW-Madison Center for Dairy Profitability and Ruth McNair, UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. Report was funded in part by a USDA-CSREES grant to CIAS and was published following a joint effort between CDP and CIAS. June 2006


Tom Kriegl and Gary Frank, November 2005.

An excerpt from the report “Pastures of Plenty: Financial Performance of Wisconsin Grazing Dairy Farms,” funded by a USDA-CSREES grant to CIAS. February 2005.

Farm Succession Planning

Farm succession planning is a journey rather than a one-time event. It involves not only the transfer of livestock, machinery, feed and supply inventories and land, but also the transfer of management and possibly the family home. Planning for succession should include intentional conversations to develop plans that fit the farm’s goals and needs. In addition to the succession plan, retirement planning, or as we like to call it, Shifting Gears for Your Later Farming Years, is also an important and parallel planning process.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension has several educational resources for farm businesses considering farm succession. Those resources can be found on their Farm Succession & Estate Planning page.

Certified Farm Succession Coordinator Training

The Center for Dairy Profitability, in collaboration with the International Farm Transition Network (IFTN), offers the Certified Farm Succession Coordinator Training.

The economic future of our nation’s agriculture depends on the next generation’s ability to access land and business assets. Many farm and ranch operators are realizing the importance of creating a succession plan. Agriculture service professionals who work with these farms and ranches are recognizing that it takes more than a business structure or an estate plan to get those assets transferred to the next generation of managers. Succession planning also includes management transfer, inheritance issues and (surprise!) humans with emotions.

This training will offer:

  • Insight on the barriers to farm succession
  • Strategies on working with families as they navigate farm succession,
  • Facilitation tools to guide the process,
  • Opportunities to consider real-life examples of farm succession case studies.

Instructors for this training are Dr. Kiley Fleming, the Executive Director of the Iowa Mediation Service, and Joy Kirkpatrick, a Farm Succession Specialist with the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Profitability. Fleming and Kirkpatrick have been instructors for this training since its inception in 2012. They offer over 35 years of combined succession planning experience to the training.

Attorneys, accountants, lenders, Extension educators, financial advisors, Farm/Ranch mediators, and any individuals who want to specialize in farm succession planning are welcome to participate.

Upcoming Trainings:

When: September 27 – 29, 2021
Monday, September 27, 2021, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Tuesday, September 28, 2021, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Wednesday, September 29, 202, 8:00 am – noon
Registrants must attend all three days to receive the materials and to be eligible for certification.

Airport Holiday Inn & Conference Center
6111 Fleur Dr.
Des Moines, IA 50321

Registration fees are $950/person if registered before Aug 13, 2021 or $1,000 after August 13. Registration fees includes lunches, morning/afternoon refreshments and a 2021-2022 International Farm Transition Network membership.  Registration does not include evening meals or lodging. Registration will close on Friday, September 17, 2021, at 11:59 pm.  Register online at

Lodging at the Airport Holiday Inn and Conference Center is $115/night (plus taxes) that includes breakfast at the hotel’s Grill. Free parking, free wireless and hardwired internet available in guest rooms, meeting rooms and public spaces. 24-hour complimentary airport shuttle. Hotel phone: 515.287.2400. Reservations must be made by Sept. 5, 2021 to received this rate.

When: May 22 – 25, 2022
Where: Wyndham State College, Pennsylvania

Farm Financial Management & Analysis

   Farming Your Finances (2018)

A two-day workshop for understanding an agriculture business designed for farm women and men who are interested in improving their farm financial management skills, part of the fabric of farm life and the farm business.

   Center for Farm Financial Management (CFFM) – University of Minnesota

The Center for Farm Financial Management’s purpose is to develop educational tools for farmers, agricultural lenders and educators that apply the principles and concepts of farm planning, financing and analysis in a practical manner. The website describes their software FINPACK, DairyCHAMP, PLANETOR, MAP and others.

   Interpreting Financial Statements and Measures (IFSaM) – Center for Farm Financial Management

This site was created to help producers understand how to interpret common financial statements. Learn how to use your financial statements in day-to-day management of your farm management. Anyone with an internet connection can assess these videos.

   Farm Financial Standards Council (FFSC)

Farm Financial Standards Council (FFSC) provides information concerning the FFSC and it’s mission. The website offers downloadable software that illustrates basic concepts of the financial guidelines for agricultural producers.

   Building a Vision: Financial Management and Strategic Planning

Building a Vision provides agricultural producers with a working knowledge of finance and strategic planning to help improve their ability to reach desired personal and business goals. Producers will increase their understanding of profitability, cash flow, and other financial measures used in the industry. There is ample discussion on how financial issues influence the decision making process in their business.

Dairy Proforma Calculator

Program lets you look at expansions, contractions, and/or changes in the way you do business. Enter the current year’s values for your farm, then enter a change in cow numbers, investment in buildings, machinery, etc., production per cow, number of heifers kept, etc. Now check to see if your financial situation changes for the better, and how sensitive your new cash flow is to the changes in milk price, production per cow, corn price, protein price and/or hay price.

Dairy Proforma Calculator

Dairy Proforma Calculator Instructions