Dairy Costs Estimates-Dairy Modernization

Dairy modernization is defined here as the investment in facilities and technology to provide animal comfort and express the genetic potential of the herd to produce milk at a profit. Many farms are evolving from the tie/stanchion barn systems to a freestall or bedded pen barn and milking center.  The range of project investments is large.  One farm may need to remodel a building for calves while another farm needs a new barn and parlor.  In the planning process, developing a budget with an estimate of the specific investments is usually not known fully until the plans are developed.

In the factsheet Building Cost Estimates-Dairy Modernization, UW-Extension Dairy Facilities Specialist David W. Kammel shares cost estimates initial budgeting and decision purposes in a modernization project.  It can help in the decision making process to know the approximate or “ballpark” costs for financial long range planning.

The information in the fact sheet is not a comprehensive list of facility and equipment costs. Costs have been gathered from discussions with dairy producers giving their estimated  costs associated with their project.  Other costs were collected by reviewing prices from suppliers.  These costs may not reflect some of the out of pocket costs to complete a project nor the entire cost of the project.  Some costs represent material costs only and do not include installation labor. Some costs such as plumbing and electrical installation are more difficult to quantify on a per square foot or per head basis.

Costs are for 2015 and do not account for future inflation.  Costs do not reflect the supply and demand cycle of the construction industry and the construction season.

Accurate costs can only be determined by obtaining competitive bids for equipment and buildings from suppliers and builders and should include materials, installation labor, and project management costs.

For more information regarding dairy modernization, please visit UW-Extension Dairy Team’s Dairy Facilities & Modernization.

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