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Confidence up among NSW dairy farmers

Cattle country near where Police set up a roadblock at the Entrance to Bindarri National Park near Dairyville as part of an operation to track down a wanted man.
Cattle country near where Police set up a roadblock at the Entrance to Bindarri National Park near Dairyville as part of an operation to track down a wanted man. Rob Wright

FARM profitability and farmer confidence improved in the NSW dairy industry during 2013/14, according to the just released Annual Report for the NSW Dairy Farm Monitor Project (DFMP).

Department of Primary Industries Technical Specialist Dairy, Mrs Kerry Kempton said the project, now in its third year, is designed to provide the NSW dairy industry with valuable farm level data relating to profitability and production.

"Data was collected and analysed from 30 farms across NSW, and revealed that in 2013/14 farmers received higher milk prices, averaging $7.12 / kg Milk Solids (52 cents/litre), on the back of strong competition for milk among processors and higher export prices," Mrs Kempton said.

"However, dry seasonal conditions and higher purchased feed prices pushed costs of production up. The average earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) across all farms was $0.89 /kg MS (6 c/l), up from $0.51 /kg MS in the previous year.

"It is pleasing to see that most of our participating farmers achieved an increase in profit from their farming operations, but it was really a tale of two regions this year."

Mrs Kempton said this last year has been particularly dry, especially in the northern half of NSW, where some farmers experienced the driest spring and summer on record.

"Farmers had to buy in more feed than usual, and at higher prices per ton, which all but wiped out the returns from better milk prices," Mrs Kempton said.

"However, in the south of the State the more moderate seasonal conditions combined with higher milk prices and lower costs of production, contributed to a much more profitable year for those dairy farmers.

"Confidence has improved markedly across both regions, with three quarters of farmers expecting their farm business returns to improve in 2014/15, and more than 60 per cent expecting to increase production."

The results of the project will be presented by Mrs Kempton to the dairy industry at a series of meetings across the state.

To find out more about the meetings email Peter Havrlant, NSW DPI Dairy Development Officer or phone 6938 1806.

Topics:  dairy industry



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