“The most profitable parts of the U.S. in 2022 could be the Northwest and Northeast, but smaller farms in those regions won’t participate in the success,” predicted Aidan Connolly, president of AgriTech Capital. “On average, farms with less than 250 cows will make just $125 to $170 per cow in 2022,” he said of farmers located in the Northwest and the Northeast. “Those with more than 1,000 or 5,000 cows will earn about three to five times that level,” Connolly went on to say.

The foundation for those predictions comes from a phone app called Zisk. Founded by veterinarian Kevin Hoogendoorn, the Zisk app (zisk means profit in the Polish language) now has over 2,300 farms using the platform available to both iPhone and Android users. In all, there are 2.4 million cows tracked by the Zisk app, with that total representing nearly 27% of the U.S. dairy herd.

“The least profitable region is expected to be the Southwest, and farms below 250 cows are expected to lose money in 2022,” continued Connolly in his analysis of the data. “The Southeast is close behind,” stated Connolly, who works with Hoogendoorn on the Zisk app. “In both cases, farms between 250 and 1,000 cows will make about half the income per cow of their neighbors with over 1,000 or 5,000 cows.”

The Southwest is a big region. Overall, California could fare rather well, while New Mexico and Kansas are forecast to be under the national average, according to data generated by Zisk.

What about the Midwest? Herds with under 250 cows could net $105.89 per cow given forecasted market conditions. That number could climb to $718 for those herds with 1,000 to 5,000 cows and then ebb to $625 for those with over 5,000 cows.

“Overall, the Zisk report data shows that the nationwide move toward larger herd size is born out in terms of profitability,” concluded Connolly.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2022
January 3, 2022
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