Milk hits a high

TASMANIAN milk production has reached a new record on the back of soaring farmer confidence.

End-of-season figures from Dairy Australia show Tasmanian production grew by 1.2 per cent this year.

Overall production across the state reached 961 million litres for the 2020-2021 season, up from the previous record last year of 950 million litres.

Tasmania now makes up 10.9 per cent of the national milk production pool.

Nationally milk production increased by .6 per cent to more than 8.85 billion litres this year on the back of better seasonal conditions in key interstate production areas including NSW and South Australia.

DairyTas executive officer Laura Richardson said the state’s farmer confidence was high.
“A good season, with strong pasture growth and relatively high farmgate milk prices have helped to drive increased milk production,” she said.
“Tasmanian dairy farmers are the most optimistic in the country in relation to feeling positive about their operations.”
“Farmers in Tasmania have now enjoyed several consecutive good seasons.”

Dairy Australia’s Situation and Outlook report says Tasmania has enjoyed another year of relatively favourable seasonal conditions.

Production got off to a strong start with monthly figures showing production for August last year was up by 9.8 per cent and 6.5 per cent in September.

Figures for January show production was up by 5.8 per cent but then production slowly declined and fell by 4.7 per cent in June.

Miss Richardson said seasonal conditions were most likely behind the drop in June when wet and colder winter conditions started.

The 2021 National Dairy Farmer Survey indicated that almost 93 per cent of dairy farmers in Tasmania expected to make a profit in the upcoming season and 69 per cent believed this profit would be larger than the five-year average.

“Farmers who are positive in their outlook and operating profitable businesses are more likely to invest, and that is a great thing for the state and for the dairy industry,” Miss Richardson said.
“Thirty-two per cent of farmers in Tasmania say they are in an expansion phase and 40 per cent say they are likely to increase herd numbers this year, and with 73 per cent of farmers feeling positive about the future of the dairy industry, things are looking bright.”

Rainfall combined with warmer temperatures helped maintain good pasture growth, alleviating the pressure from relatively firm feed costs as grain prices in Tasmania were fairly high this season.

DA senior industry analyst Sofia Omstedt said over the long term, milk production in Tasmania had grown 32 per cent in the past 10 years and 63 per cent compared with 20 years ago.

The latest figures available show there are about 182,000 dairy cows and 391 dairy farms in Tasmania.

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