​Media Relea​se

Dairy farm fortunes on the rise

16 December 2014

Australian dairy farm incomes are estimated to have increased to an average of $129,000 in 2013–14, around 29 per cent above the 10-year average to 2012–13.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the results were good news after a tough year in 2012–13, when Australian dairy farms averaged $44,200 in average cash income.

“The rebound in dairy farm fortunes we’ve seen last financial year is great news for an industry that contributed $2.2 billion to Australian exports in 2013,” Minister Joyce said.

“The Australian dairy industry operates in a highly competitive global environment with heavy pressure on farmgate milk prices, big swings in world prices for traded dairy products and variable seasons that often demand significant investment in fodder.

“Despite this, the average volume of milk produced by small farms increased by 44 per cent in the 14 years to 2013–14. The averages for medium and large farms increased by 22 per cent and 9 per cent over the same period.

“This is an industry that has responded very effectively to constantly changing circumstances, driving consistent productivity improvement through responsible farming and better application of technology.”

Minister Joyce said that Australian dairy farmers matched the best in the world for productivity and the quality of produce.

“This government is committed to giving our dairy farms the opportunity to compete on their merits on a global scale through better market access and fairer returns at the farmgate,” Minister Joyce said.

“Dairy has been front and centre of the three trade agreements we have delivered this year with China, Japan and Korea, where we have secured preferential access for a wide range of Australian dairy products.

“We are already seeing dairy processors and manufacturers successfully establish and expand export market opportunities into Asia.

“And through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, we are working to create a stronger, more profitable and more sustainable sector where it counts most: at the farmgate.”

Australian dairy: financial performance of Australian dairy farms, 2011–12 to 2013–14 is available on the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) website: agriculture.gov.au/abares/publications ​​