THERE is more optimism in the future of the dairy industry according to local farmers.
A Dairy Australia survey, based on mainly the southern states of the country, has found that that confidence in the industry is up almost 30 per cent since the start of the year.
In early August, 340 of the 1000 dairy
farmers that were surveyed in February’s National Dairy Focus Survey were
recontacted to update their intentions and attitudes.
They showed that confidence had improved significantly over the past six months, with 73 per cent of surveyed farmers fairly to very positive about the future of the national industry – up from 44 per cent in February.
The proportion of farmers who felt very positive increased from 5 to 12 per cent, while 61 per cent were now fairly positive compared to 39 per cent in February.
Local farmers are echoing that sentiment, saying an increase in farm gate prices, improved seasons and a weaker Australian dollar were certainly making them more optimistic about the industry’s future.
However, they warned that milk prices needed to continue to improve as farmers were facing increased production costs and desperately needed rain to reinvigorate their important spring season.
Robert Cochrane, who milks 275 cows in Kangaroo Valley, said there was a lot more optimism in the industry.
“Farmers are finally getting some increase in returns for their products, but certainly it is not as much as we would like,” he said.
“Our costs keep on going up and there is no way we can keep a tab on them – electricity, fuel, running costs and repairs have all gone up in cost, as have things like fertiliser.
“The cost of fertiliser has jumped dramatically – two years ago for a tonne of Urea was $500, now it is $800.
“We are using large irrigations plants to maintain our pastures but that comes at a huge impost in electricity cost.
“I’m hoping the carbon tax will soon
be removed and electricity can come back