Benchmarking provides you with the opportunity to take a really close look at, and compare, your farm's performance with that of others to see just where things might be improved, or where you're already ahead of the game.

Most farmers already compare their performance informally, for example, discussing milk yields with neighbours. However, confidentially comparing a whole range of data with a select group such as a discussion groups, helps farmers identify areas where performance can be improved and profits increased.

As part of a discussion group many benchmarking formats are open to AHDB Dairy can provide you with a Comparable Farm Profit (CFP) format for your use that will stimulate discussion and encourage you to look further at specific areas of your business.

AHDB Dairy provides analysis on the production economics and performance of GB dairy farming. This helps levy payers determine the key drivers for profitable systems, the industry understand its international competitiveness, and AHDB Dairy direct future research and knowledge transfer towards areas of most benefit to levy payers. Data for this was previously collated through Milkbench+, now this is being outsourced to provide a stratified sample that represents the industry.

Parlour analysis

Data from the 2012/13 Milkbench+ data set was analysised to see if relationships could be found between parlour types and herd economic performance. The findings of this work highlighted that herds with a rotary parlour recorded, on average, a positive net margin of 1.7ppl followed by herringbone at -0.5ppl and AMS at -4ppl net margin. However, across all the parlour types, the top performing herds all made a positive margin ranging from 1.6ppl with AMS to 5.4ppl with herringbone parlours.

A factsheet detailing the information can be found via this link.


Milkbench+ is an internet based benchmarking system that allowed GB dairy farmers to compare their dairy enterprise with other farmers.

Following feedback from the industry during and consultation, the AHDB Dairy board has decided to cease the Milkbench+ data collection service from March 2014. The reason is the substantial uptake of benchmarking tools among farmers since Milkbench+ started. Milkbench+ is available on line for your individual use but the ability to compare with others on line is now limited. The Milkbench+ website will continue to be accessible and operate until March 2017. AHDB Dairy remains firmly in support of benchmarking as a path to improved performance and would encourage all dairy producers to use one of the many products available.