PA Dairy Performance Indicators Report Released, Discussion to Be Held at Dairy Financial Conference

The Conference Will Be Held on September 13 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

A new “Pennsylvania Dairy Performance Indicators” report is now available. The Center for Dairy Excellence helped facilitate the project while Horizon Farm Credit and Penn State Extension gathered data from their respective benchmarking programs, combined it into one larger, anonymous database, and then analyzed the data to provide 17 key performance indicators. The indicators range from herd performance metrics to financial performance metrics. At the Dairy Financial and Risk Management Conference on Wednesday, September 13, Rob Goodling from Horizon Farm Credit and Samantha Gehrett from Penn State Extension will share some of the findings from the new report.

The Dairy Financial Conference will take place on Wednesday, September 13, from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel in Harrisburg. Dairy financial consultants, lending representatives, and interested dairy producers can register for the conference online at

“This Performance Indicators report is a reboot 20 years in the making. Diving deeper into these general performance indicators can help us determine what areas the Pennsylvania dairy industry should focus on to improve their operations,” said Jayne Sebright, Executive Director at the Center for Dairy Excellence. “Rob, Samantha and the rest of the team involved in this project have compiled an impressive collection of data. We hope you’ll join us at the Dairy Financial Conference as they dive deeper into some of their findings – and what they mean for performance across the Pennsylvania dairy industry.”

Pennsylvania dairy farm families and industry representatives that support them can use the performance indicator averages included in the report to compare their individual dairy performance against a “state” average. Along with herd performance and profitability indicators, four financial indicators were selected to be analyzed in the report: current ratio, equity-to-asset ratio, operating expense ratio, and debt to EBITDA ratio. These were chosen as barometers to liquidity, solvency, financial efficiency, and repayment capacity of the dairy operations.  A total of 220 herds of various sizes make up the data set in the report.

View highlights from the report that will be discussed in more detail at the Dairy Financial Conference:

  • Herd size: The average herd size of the 220 Pennsylvania dairy herds included in the report in 2022 was 306 cows.
  • Feed costs: One of the largest costs of milk production was feed, both purchased and home raised. In 2022, the average total feed cost per cow on those farms included in the report was $2,681. Regardless of group, total feed cost averaged 50 percent of the net cost of production per cwt. Differences can be seen between herd size groups on a per cow basis, but given the greater average production in larger farms, little difference was seen on a per cwt. basis.
  • Energy corrected milk shipped per cow:  In 2022, the average amount of energy corrected milk shipped per cow among the herds included in the report was 24,828 pounds.
  • Financial indicators: In 2022, 70 percent of the farms reporting had strong current ratios above a ratio of two, indicating for every $1 of current debt these farms held, they had at least $2 in current assets. 

To view the full Pennsylvania Dairy Performance Indicators report, visit

To register for the Dairy Financial Conference and view the full list of speakers and sessions, visit The cost to attend this year’s Dairy Financial and Risk Management Conference is $250 per person, discounted to $200 for those who are representatives of the Center for Dairy Excellence Allies for Advancement. Call the Center at 717-346-0849 for more information.