University experts outline why western Kansas is good dairy location
Kevin Dhuyvetter, Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University, has spent years studying and assisting dairies in western Kansas. According to Dhuyvetter, there are many factors impacting profitability that are affecting dairy trends, such as the growth of dairies in western Kansas. Large dairies in the region appear to have a cost advantage over “traditional” dairy states due primarily to lower labor and overhead costs.
Economies of size have a big impact on profitability of the dairy industry. Kansas dairies offer the benefits of larger size.
The design and operation of western Kansas dairies minimize fixed costs by maximizing cows and production per cow. Western Kansas offers unique abilities to producers to design different types of both drylot and freestall operations.
And although geographical location and dairy size are important, management seems to play a more central role in making dairies successful. The different management styles in western Kansas dairies play an important part of this role.
Dhuyvetter recommends that dairy managers focus on production, costs and marketing.