A LIFT in Tasmania’s dairy-farm earnings last year has boosted farmer confidence.
A new report shows average earnings in the 2016-2017 season increased by 12 per cent to $276,098.
The findings are part of Dairy Australia’s Dairy Farm Monitor Project, run in the state by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture.
Now in its fourth year, 36 farms took part in the project farms during 2016-2017.
The report says that despite reduced milk prices in that season, net incomes averaged $153,967 – a 23 per cent increase from the previous year.
The average return of assets managed was 3.7 per cent.
TIA dairy extension team leader Lesley Irvine said seven additional farms had participated in last year’s monitoring program.
“The dairy farm benchmarking service is provided free of charge to all Tasmanian dairy farming businesses,” Ms Irvine said.
“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.”
She said the increase in farmer participation showed Tasmanian producers could see the value in benchmarking performance and monitoring progress.
Ms Irvine said this was a good sign for future productivity and success of the industry.
TIA’s extension team collects physical and financial data from participating farms. It is used to generate individual farm reports sent to each participant and a publicly available industry report.
Other information included is a breakdown of costs, milk and feed production, labour efficiency and pasture use and a state average for Tasmania.
The report says dairy farmers are optimistic about the future, with almost 90 per cent of respondents of the business- confidence survey expecting higher 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,” Ms Irvine said. Overall the cost of production decreased 8 per cent.
Next week dairy farmers will gather for the annual Tasmanian Dairy Conference y next week at the Launceston Country Club, starting on Thursday 8.30am. The annual awards dinner will be held on Thursday from 6.30pm,
A pre-conference tour on Wednesday will visit the Agrilac and Clovelly operations in the North-East.
For conference details go to www.dairytas.com.au.
By: KAROLIN MACGREGOR
Source: The Weekly Times