Key Performance Indicators to Diagnose Poor Farm Performance and Profitability of Smallholder Dairy Farmers in Asia

  • Moran, John B. (Department of Primary Industries Victoria)
  • Received : 2009.03.30
  • Accepted : 2009.07.02
  • Published : 2009.12.01


This review presents a series of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to assist Asian smallholder dairy farmers in identifying the possible causes for their poor farm performance and profitability. When assessing farm profitability, these indicators can be split into two types, those diagnosing problems with feeding management and those indicating poor herd management. As home grown forage is generally cheaper to source than purchased forage, the more produced on farm, the better. Too many stock on limited land is a common feature on Asian dairy small holdings. Unlike other classes of livestock, milking cows have very high nutrient requirements, therefore high quality forages and concentrates are essential for profitable dairying. Milk income less feed cost is one of the simplest and easy to measure indicators of farm profitability and is also quick to respond to small changes in farm practices. Problems with herd management can be diagnosed using measures such as the proportion of cows actually milking in the herd or their peak yield and persistency of production. There are also simple indicators of herd reproductive performance and of health and growth of young stock that assist in searching for the underlying causes of poor farm profitability.


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