National Dairy Farmer Survey shows an industry in recovery

DAIRY farmers are feeling more confident now than last year about the state of their own businesses and the future of the industry as a whole, the latest annual National Dairy Farmer Survey has confirmed.

While confidence remains lower than in 2018 and 2017, more than two thirds of farmers surveyed (67 per cent) reported feeling positive about their businesses, a massive 22 per cent jump from last year, while 44 per cent felt good about the future of the industry.

This is a marked improvement from last year, when just 34 per cent felt positive about the industry’s future in the survey’s worst ever result, but still far below the historic high of 78 per cent recorded in the 2008 survey, before the Global Financial Crisis.

Peak dairy farmer group Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) President Terry Richardson said the survey results were a welcome boost from last year.

“These survey results show a dairy industry in recovery, although it is unclear whether this confidence will continue to grow in a post-pandemic environment,” Mr Richardson said.

Dairy Australia’s June Situation and Outlook Report, released today, confirmed that demand for dairy remained strong during the panic buying that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The industry is still facing some considerable challenges, but this is a positive outlook for the future, with dairy products remaining a staple household item.”

Encouragingly, 70 per cent of farmers recorded in this year’s survey expected to make a profit, up from 43 per cent last year, while 48 per cent of farms anticipated an increase in production volumes for the year ending June 2020.

“It appears farmers are recovering from recent production losses and encouragingly, some farmers are actively entering an expansion phase, even as many continue to battle drought, high feed and water costs, and other elements,” Mr Richardson said.

“A confident industry is a key objective of the Australian Dairy Plan, with a goal to boost milk production up to 9.3 billion litres per year by 2024-25,” Mr Richardson said.

“There are a lot of factors involved in sustaining a confident industry. But if the trend in farmer confidence continues, I have no doubt that we can achieve our goal over the next five years.”

Media Contact:

Ashley Mackinnon, Public Affairs Manager

M: 0407 766 153


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