A study of 30 organic dairy farms in Vermont and Maine shows that they may not be as profitable as initially perceived.

Average herd size of the farms in the study was 48 cows. Rolling herd average was 14,060 pounds of milk per cow. In 2004, the producers received, on average, $22.97 per hundredweight. Average net farm income was $21,898 in 2004.

Despite the cash profit, the farms had a net return on equity of minus 3 percent in 2004 after charges for owner labor and management. The study’s authors say that higher milk prices are needed to keep these dairies economically sustainable.


FOR MORE INFORMATION: To read “Cost and Returns to Organic Dairy Farming in Maine and Vermont for 2004,” go to: http://www.dairyherd.com/FileUploads/0512OrganicDairypaper.doc