Torsten Hemme


Torsten Hemme is the Founder and Managing Director of the IFCN Dairy Research Network in Kiel. This network is analyzing global trends of milk production, milk prices, costs and other related economic topics. Since the year 2000 annually the results are summarized in the IFCN Dairy Report. Torsten is a dairy farmer by training. He studied Agriculture economics in Göttingen and Texas. He holds a PHD from University Göttingen.



Developments farmers income all over the world


This presentation is focusing on milk production and dairy farming as this a very important element of the whole dairy chain. In this part of the value chain the major share of a) the costs, b) resources used, c) emissions created and d) the political challenges come from producing the milk itself. Besides cost and milk prices a special focus in given to farm income developments.

Materials & methods

This article follows the approach of the IFCN Dairy Research Network. It is a global network of dairy researchers from 100 countries. The network focuses on dairy economic analysis to create a better understanding of the dairy world. The main focus is in analysing global milk production trends, milk prices and production costs. The IFCN work is coordinated by the IFCN Dairy Research Centre (

Results &discussion

Milk production worldwide is practiced by around 121 million dairy farms (IFCN estimate) keeping 363 million milking cows and buffaloes. This means the world average farmer keeps 3 milk animals with an average annual milk yield of approximately 2150 kg/animal/year.

Cost of milk production ranges from 4 US-$ per 100 kg milk in extensive farming systems in Africa (where beef is the major output and milk is a side product) to over 100 US-$ for average sized farms in countries like Switzerland and Japan.

Dairy farm incomes differ substantially between farms in different countries. Moreover the monthly variation on milk and feed prices are significant. This leads to high fluctuations in farm incomes.


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