As we reflect upon the past 12 months, the dairy industry in Queensland and NSW has encountered a number of issues that have impacted upon the profitability and sustainability of the industry in these two states.
This has been reflected in the continuing decline in the production, which has been quite significant compared to 2021. The recent milk production report from Dairy Australia for October 2022 indicated that there had been a 6.6 per cent decrease on October 2021, while the national year-to-date was down 6.5pc.
In Queensland there has been a year-to-date decline of 11.3pc while NSW has decreased by 11.9pc.
There are a number of reasons for the declining milk production, including dairy farmers exiting the industry, the lack of the availability of labour, the floods that devastated parts of Queensland and NSW, inflation, among other issues.
However, there have been strong farm gate prices paid by processors to their suppliers, but this has been offset by increasing input costs for dairy farmers.
The dairy industry has been grateful for the strong support of the Queensland and NSW state governments with the ongoing availability of loans and grants to enable dairy farmers to rebuild their farm infrastructure, restore their cow numbers and ensure the availability of fodder for their farms.
The risk of a biosecurity incursion has also been on the minds of dairy farmers. This has been evidenced by the onset of FMD and LSD in Indonesia and elsewhere, including the strong preparedness that the state and federal governments are taking to stop such an incursion occurring, and to be prepared for prompt action, if an incursion did occur.
In recent times, there has also been discussion regarding methane emissions, especially given the action of the New Zealand government in imposing attacks on cattle in the country. Strong action by the industries' peak bodies has seen the federal Minister for Agriculture, Murray Watt, indicate strongly that there was no intention of the government to impose such a tax in Australia.
As 2022 comes to an end, the dairy industry continues to look at ways to ensure its profitability and viability into the future. This will be reflected by the steps that eastAUSmilk will take in 2023 to ensure the sustainability of the fresh milk dairy industry in Queensland and NSW.
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