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Cost of producing fluid milk in Alabama



Cost of producing fluid milk in Alabama



Bull Alabama Agric Expt Sta 265: 1-72



In this study, detailed records were obtained from 119 farmers who were producing fluid milk throughout 1945. Of the 119 records, 90 were from farmers selling fluid milk wholesale to plants, and 29 were from farmers retailing to homes and stores. Individual farms were selected at random from dairy farms located in 7 of Alabama's major type-of-farming areas. Analysis of records of 90 farms producing wholesale grade-A milk indicates the following: Production per cow on these farms averaged 4,700 pounds in 1945. Net cost per cwt. of milk showed wide variations for different sections of the state, from $3.79 to $6.23. In each area cost of producing milk varied by quarters. The highest cost occurred in the winter and the lowest cost in the summer. As size of herd increased from an avg. of 13 to 104 cows, cost of producing a cwt. of . milk increased from $4.81 to $5.35. As production per cow increased from 3,099 lb. to 6,837 lb., total costs per cwt. of milk decreased 94 cents. Of the decreased cost per cwt., 21 cents was for feed, 17 cents was for labor, and 56 cents was saved from all other costs. A weighted avg. shows that 56% of total gross cost per cwt. of milk was for feed and pasture, 20% for labor, and 24% for all other costs. Avg. sales per farm amounted to $16,664; cash farm expenses averaged $15,058 per farm; farm cash available (sales less expenses) averaged $1,606 per farm. Returns for operator's labor were minus $499 on the avg. farm. Analysis of records of 29 farms producing fluid milk for retail to homes and stores shows the following: Total sales of farm products on the avg. retail farm amounted to $33,728. Of these sales, milk accounted for $27,903 and all other farm products accounted for $5,825; cash farm expenses averaged $30,787 per farm; farm cash available (sales less expenses) averaged $2,941 per farm; and return for operator's labor on the retail dairies averaged $658 per farm.

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