2010 to 2019: The decade that was

By Rodney Woods

February 8, 2010: News ‘devastating' — The community of Leitchville was left reeling after Murray Goulburn closed the town's milk factory.

By the end of the decade, Murray Goulburn was no longer, closing its Rochester factory before the company was sold to Saputo.

April 12, 2010: System forced to close — The Campaspe Irrigation District closed, leaving farmers to assess their futures in the industry.

In 2015, the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District Water Leadership Group was formed, acting as a strong voice for water security. It has continued to lobby as a critic of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

April 26, 2010: Shepparton chosen — Milk company United Dairy Power chose Shepparton as the site of a 200 million litre milk processing facility. The problem was the Vaughan St premises was never used.

As recently as December 17, new milk factories are popping up around the region. Kyabram Jam Company, the new owners of Kyabram's IXL factory, will process milk at the site that currently produces IXL jams and Taylor’s marinades and sauces. ACM also invested in a factory at Girgarre.

June 7, 2010: Super dairy — Back then, five Leitchville dairy farms were amalgamated into one by Sustainable Soils and Farms, who wanted to become the biggest producer of organic milk in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Move forward to the end of the decade and private company goFARM is doing the same thing with dairy farms around Yalca, Katunga and Cobram.

July 26 and October 11, 2010: Basin plan held up and Plan a ‘disaster' — Critics of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan were there from the very start as the basin plan was held up from being first announced. When it did finally arrive, it was labelled a ‘disaster'.

The basin plan has been a major talking point of the decade, which ended with thousands of farmers and their supporters on the Convoy to Canberra to voice their concerns at the direction of our nation's politicians.

September 20, 2010: Preparing for battle — A locust breakout in Mildura spread to dairy farms in our region by the end of the year.

Now the region is trying its best to control Queensland fruit fly, with the Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Group activated in 2016 to strengthen fruit fly management across the region. The group has won several awards.

November 29, 2010: Sheep bonanza — 2010 was the year for lamb price records as they fell in South Australia and Benalla (Victorian record) in consecutive days.

A similar thing happened in June 2019, when Corowa set the national record of $350/head for a pen of 40 lambs, sold by Garry Mickan of Walla Walla, in NSW (40km north of Albury). However, the record only lasted three days, with a pen of lambs selling for $354.20/head in Wagga Wagga on June 20.