Benchmarks set for optimal performance

Published 15 November 17

Dairy farmers should be aiming to achieve a full economic cost of production between 22 pence per litre (ppl) and 25ppl, according to a new set of performance measures developed by AHDB Dairy.

Launched today at AgriScot, the measures for all year round (AYR) and block calving systems build upon AHDB’s recently announced optimal dairy systems approach, which suggests farmers should focus on one of two production systems.

The measures are broken down into two areas. The first set are ‘enterprise key performance indicators’ which highlight the six key areas for both AYR and block calving systems which are crucial to delivering the financial performance required.

The second set of measures focuses on the three key business measures that every business should know, understand and benchmark their performance against including full economic costs of production.

Mark Topliff, AHDB Lead Analyst said: “When we started looking at the range of potential measures we came across over 70 performance measures so it’s little wonder farmers are confused. Working with farmers and others from across the industry we’ve identified the six key areas everyone should focus upon.”

As well as providing definitions, AHDB are sharing what good, average and poor operators are currently achieving by analysing industry data from the top and bottom 25% and average performers.

A full set of definitions along with guidance about how to calculate each measure can be found here. Farmers can also enter their own figures into the online calculator to benchmark their performance and highlight focus areas.

The measures will be built into the programme for the next wave of strategic dairy farms which are currently being recruited to complement the existing farm at Oadby in Leicestershire.

“It is now more important than ever that dairy farmers do everything they can to get in good shape to deal with future challenges. By giving farmers a clear set of measures and targets, farmers can review their performance and make changes to enable them to compete in this rapidly changing world” continued Mark.