Staff from Agriculture Victoria and the private sector are busy surveying 75 participating farms to have the latest Dairy Farm Monitor report released at the end of August.
The Dairy Farm Monitor Project has been analysing the economic performance of Victorian dairy farms over the last 11 years. Dairy farms across Gippsland, Northern Victorian and South West Victoria are analysed as part of the project.
The data provides farm-level insights into the operating conditions and other factors that influence dairy farm profits. Last year, in 2017-18 the report reflected the challenging seasonal conditions despite improved milk prices.
Average profits remained comparable with the 2016-17 year where whole farm earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) decreased to $159,000, compared with $167,000 reported in 2016-17.
Return on total assets (RoTA) remained constant at 2.5 per cent across the state on average, however, there was notable variation between the regions.
All Victorian dairying regions had challenging seasonal conditions in 2017-18, with reduced rainfall compared to the previous year resulting in decreased home-grown feed as a percentage of ME consumed. Farms fed additional imported fodder, at generally higher prices, and utilised their feed reserves to manage the long, dry, hot summer.
The 2018-19, Dairy Farm Monitor report is expected to highlight the challenges faced by Victorian dairy farmers since the 2015-16 season. This year, the impact of the dry seasonal conditions on elevated input prices such as fodder, grain and water will be reflected in the profit performance.
The project is delivered in collaboration with Dairy Australia.