The Queensland Dairy Accounting Scheme survey results were released recently for 2018/19.
It is estimated that average dairy farm costs in Queensland have risen by 9.4c/L from 2017/18 up to 71.6c/L.
In North Queensland costs have risen the most with the average cost around 72.3c/L which is alarming especially when prices went down by 2c/L in July when everyone else in Australia had their price go up.
In south east Queensland the average cost is around 71.4c/L.
This is a very significant increase in farm costs which is well understood by dairy farmers in Queensland especially but also those in NSW and northern Victoria.
Unfortunately, it is likely that costs for 2020/21 will be up even further given the ongoing drought, the need to purchase more feed and the extremely high feed costs.
Obviously, this ongoing drought and the related alarming increase in costs has had a devastating effect on the Queensland dairy industry.
Over a two-year period we have lost almost a quarter of our dairy farmers and production will be down by a similar amount.
Clearly this drought has been catastrophic for many dairy farmers and the dairy industry.
A lot more help is needed for our dairy farmers and other farmers badly affected by drought if they are expected to continue.
It will take further increases in milk price and plenty of rain by January 2020 to stem the exodus of farmers and production.
And it will take at least two or three years of good seasons for dairy farmers to get to where they were pre-drought.
There is only so long that dairy farmers will continue to produce milk to supply retailers and consumers at a ridiculously low price.
- The Queensland Dairyfarmers' Organisation is the peak advocacy organisation representing the interests of and providing services to dairy farmers across Queensland.