In 2019-20, Livestock Farm Monitor Project (LFMP) provided 94 participant Victorian sheep, beef and cropping producers with detailed financial and production performance information. The LFMP collated the individual business performance information of all surveyed farms to provide the insights in the annual report now available on the Agriculture Victoria website.
Average farm profits increased in each region in 2019-20 after two consecutive years of decreases. Surveyed farms located in South West Victoria recorded the highest average returns for the state, while farms in Gippsland and Northern Victoria had the largest annual percentage increases. Regardless of the average, each region had participant farms that recorded high returns and negative returns (Figure 1).
Figure 1. 2019-20 Livestock Farm Monitor regional return on assets
Average gross farm income was well above long-term average in each respective region. Strong lamb, mutton and beef prices coupled with an increased quantity and value of stock and feed on-hand resulted in increased gross farm income in 2019-20.
For most participant farms, annual rainfall was close to average which improved pasture growing conditions and meant that grazed pasture was the major component of livestock diets. Depleted feed reserves were bolstered across the state (as measured by positive average feed inventory gain in each region) as surplus pasture was conserved and stored as fodder. For Gippsland and South Western Victoria, a reduced reliance on purchased supplementary feed coupled with a decrease in market price of hay and grain contributed to decreases in average variable costs. Average variable costs increased in Northern Victoria as surveyed farms were forced to purchase feed to supplement reduced pasture growth from below average spring rainfall.
Free benchmarking and profit assessment of your farm business
The LFMP estimates the economic performance of surveyed livestock and cropping farms by collecting detailed physical and financial farm information. Agriculture Victoria is offering sheep, beef and cropping farmers the opportunity to participate in this respected, rigorous and long running benchmarking program. Positions are available for individual farms and farm discussion groups across Victoria for the 2020-21 LFMP. Participation is free and all information is treated as highly confidential.
Each participating farm receives an annual individualized farm report with graphs and data from the reporting year as well as all previous years of participation. A participating farm business can use the results from this report to compare itself over time and help identify the critical variables to inform and provide confidence for on-farm decision making. The report is a trusted and un-biased source of information that can assist farm businesses with conversations with the bank, consultants and industry.
The LFMP can provide group averages and tailored reports for farmer discussion groups across Victoria. If you think this is something your group would benefit from please encourage your facilitator to get in touch.
For more information about the Livestock Farm Monitor Project or to get involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org (Farm Business Economist)
Or find out more via the Agriculture Victoria website