A QUEENSLAND dairy farmer is calling for a base milk price of $1.50 a litre in a desperate bid to save the failing industry.
David Janke wants the dairy industry — suppliers, processors and supermarkets to forget the last eight years and move forward as a united front, starting with a base milk price of $1.50 a litre for all milk sold into the fresh milk market.
David and his wife Cindy have been milking cows just out of Toowoomba for 40 years but 2019 could possibly be their last if things don’t change dramatically.
His 320-cow dairy farm will be the next statistic.
David said the doubling of fodder prices, drought conditions and poor milk price over the last eight years have pushed his business and those of many others to the brink.
“For the first time in 40 years we might not be able to sow a summer crop, if we don’t get drought breaking rains before October we are finished — we can’t afford to buy in fodder unless we start to receive a fair price for our milk,” David said.
He believes the introduction of cheap $1 milk has decimated the dairy industry.
“Twenty years ago, a litre of milk was $1.30 in Queensland — a price of $1.50 doesn’t even cover the cost of inflation over that time.
“A flat milk price all the way through will benefit everyone and with a bit of sense we can have a good viable industry again, we can’t sell milk for less than what it was 20 years ago.
“If people think $1.50 is too much, the cost of a litre of milk in New Zealand is $3”.
The Jankes recently opened up their dairy farm to government ministers and representatives in a bid to illustrate the devastating position the industry is in.
“We had a great reception but I am not giving up the pressure, we need to get the message out to everyone. The National Dairy Plan needs to implement what we suggest or we are not going to get anywhere.
“I have had a few phone calls and there is 110 per cent support behind me.”
David is now working hard to get representatives from Coles and Woolworths on farm.
“They don’t seem to want to get out of their airconditioned offices but I am keeping the pressure up,” David said.