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Winrock International features Winrock senior program manager, a news site that covers farming and livestock, featured Winrock’s Jon Winsten in an article headlined: “Grazing: Economies of scale to lower overhead costs.”

Winsten, a senior program manager on the Ecosystem Services team, shared information about a three-pronged strategy that puts cows out to graze well-managed pasture forages, focuses on labor efficiency and takes advantage of economies of scale to minimize overhead costs and maximize milk production.

Winsten has been working with farmers and financial analysts for Winrock’s Wallace Center projects, Grassland and Facilitating Low-Overheard Dairy Grazing for the Upper Midwest, to develop representative financial statements for an innovative type of dairy farming that reduces the amount of farm infrastructure but increases herd size.

“His financial analysis, using milk and feed prices over the past 10 years, has shown that the average net farm income, after paying an acceptable salary to the owner/operator, tends to be around $1.40 per cwt in the LHLO [large herd, low overhead] dairy grazing system. Winsten sees the LHLO dairy grazing system as an opportunity for flexibility, with less investment tied up in dairy-specific infrastructure. When milk prices are low, a dairy could opt to shift to dairy beef or to raise heifers, rather than focus on maximizing milk production and adding cows.”

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Wallace Center

The Wallace Center supports entrepreneurs and communities as they build a new, 21st century food system that is healthier for people, the environment and the economy. The demand for locally produced food is strong, growing and often outstrips the ability of small farmers to keep up. Through research, education and technical assistance, The Wallace Center…