Dairy

Lachlan Marshall starts the process of destocking

By Sophie Baldwin

Lachlan Marshall's Blighty dairy farm has hit the trigger point he was hoping it would never make.

Another year of a zero water allocation in the Southern Riverina, combined with expensive temporary water prices, mean he can no longer feed his 900-cow dairy herd and 300 must go.

"It's not the decision we wanted to make but we will be cutting our herd back to 600 A2 cows — over 300 will have to go and these are bloody good cows too, but what else can we do when we can't afford to feed them?" Mr Marshall said.

Mr Marshall said while his dryland crops were looking okay, without the security of irrigation, the tonnage was nowhere near enough.

"Potentially we will have to look at five or six positions not being renewed in our business and these are good people. It is gut-wrenching selling a third of the herd and gut-wrenching telling good workers they no longer have a job."

Mr Marshall said he was disappointed and angered that his business as a food producer was not valued for its contribution to the community and the economy.

"Our government is an absolute diabolical failure and this will go down as one of the worst periods of governance in history. Sussan Ley promised our electorate the world and she hasn't set foot in it for the last three months.

"It's going to take empty supermarket shelves before someone takes notice and by then it will be too late and we will be importing all our food.

"I am only one farmer making some noise, there are many more just quietly going about the business of reducing numbers or exiting the industry."

Mr Marshall will be selling 30 cows at Shepparton Selling Centre on August 22.

He has also been flat out exporting heifers to reduce the drain on his feed resources.