Small Farms

Tasmanian dairy farming on the up

Dairy farmers are optimistic following an increase in annual dairy farm earnings, according to a report released by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) as part of Dairy Australia’s Dairy Farm Monitor Project (DFMP).

The Tasmanian DFMP report showcases dairy farm performance for the 2016-17 season based on data collected from 36 participant farms in Tasmania. The report shows that despite reduced milk prices at an average of $5.03 kg milk solids during 2016-17, the average whole farm earnings (EBIT) rose 12 per cent to $276,098, and the average return on assets managed was 3.7 per cent.

“The dairy farm benchmarking service is provided free-of-charge to all Tasmanian dairy farming businesses. Participants receive a detailed overview of their business which they can use to evaluate their performance against others in the industry and identify areas of their operation that could be enhanced,” TIA Dairy Extension Team Leader Lesley Irvine said.

Ms Irvine said TIA’s Dairy Extension Team worked closely with farmers to support the dairy industry to achieve growth and development profitably and sustainably. She said seven additional dairy farmers participated in the most recent project.

“This increase in farmer participation shows that Tasmanian farmers see the value in benchmarking performance and monitoring progress, which is a great sign for the future productivity and success of the industry,” Ms Irvine said.

“TIA’s extension team collects physical and financial farming data from participant farmers on an annual basis. This data is used to generate an individual farm report that is sent to each participant and an industry report which is publicly available online.

“The report includes information such as a breakdown of costs, milk and feed production, labour efficiency, and pasture use; and a state average for Tasmania,” she said.

Farmers are optimistic about the future with almost 90 per cent of respondents of the business confidence survey expecting higher business returns this season.

“Farmers achieved an encouraging result by making the most of opportunities, such as increasing the amount of home grown feed and reducing total feed costs. Overall the cost of production decreased by 8 per cent,” Ms Irvine said.

To join the benchmarking program, farmers can contact the dairy team.

The Tasmanian Dairy Farm Monitor Project 2016-17 project was made possible by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, the Victoria Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, and Dairy Australia.

The report is available in the Dairy Centre section of the TIA website.

Source: UTAS

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