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Confidence of Murray dairy farmers below other Victorian regions

By Rodney Woods

Dairy farmer confidence in the Murray region is below the experience of other Victorian regions, according to the latest Dairy Australia's Situation and Outlook report.

“Issues with cost and availability of irrigation water, dry conditions and increased production costs (including grain) have led to a significant decrease in respondents’ confidence in the industry’s future,’’ the report said.

“ As a result, negative sentiment (65 per cent of respondents) is significantly more widespread than in other Victorian regions and results suggest the current challenges are expected to continue over the next six months.

“For the second time in three years, profitability among businesses is expected to be the least widespread nationally, at 21 per cent.

Compared to 12 months ago, herd numbers have reduced on 40 per cent of farms and production decreased on approximately half of farms (both results the highest nationally).’’

The report anticipates a continuing national reduction in milk production but points to well-balanced global markets, exchange rates, competition among processors and autumn rainfall in dairy farmers’ favour.

"As dairy farmers look to take advantage of some of the highest farm-gate prices in recent years, grain, hay and water prices will be the key to profit," the report said.

To read the whole report, visit:

See more on Dairy Australia's Situation and Outlook report in next week's Country News.