The latest Victorian Dairy Farm Monitor report has shown varied performance across the three main dairy regions of the state.
Northern Victoria has reported the worst year in the 13 years the Monitor has been reporting results.
Agriculture Victoria’s Farm Business Economist Claire Waterman said there was a significant variation in profitability across the three dairy regions of Victoria.
“The dry conditions have led to a 20 per cent increase in variable costs as a result of higher irrigation water, concentrates and fodder prices,” Ms Waterman said. “Farmers also spent more on making homegrown feed, including fertiliser, hay and silage making costs.”
Across South West Victoria’s survey results, net farm income improved on the previous year to $27,000 yet remained below the long-term average.
The Dairy Farm Monitor Project provides annual farm level data related to profit and production in Victoria. The latest report is the thirteenth to be produced in collaboration with Dairy Australia.
The top performing farms in the project have shown timely decision making combined with a business analysis approach were key strategies to managing the dry conditions throughout the 2018/19 financial year.
While profits were mixed across the regions, the project reported average earnings before interest and tax were $85,000 in 2018-19, half of the level set the year before.
When interest and lease costs are considered, average net farm income across the state fell to -$24,000, the fourth lowest in the 13-years of the project.
In the North of the state, net farm income fell to -$85,000, the lowest level in the 13-year history of the project.