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Assume the shackles are off! Take away the barriers of time, money, history etc. and think about what’s possible. What, specifically, needs to change to get dairy to a better place in the next five years?
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8 months ago
Our industry is currently in the cross-fires of animal liberationists. This pressure on our industry is not going away and we will become even more heavily scrutinised. Unfortunately, poor animal welfare is frequently used as an excuse to support a particular ethical stand-point. For example, people may be of the opinion that animals have a 'right-to-life' and use animal welfare as a reason to support this argument. If slaughter is done in a manner that does not cause prolonged distress, then animal welfare should not be used as a reason to defend this particular ethical standpoint.
Currently I believe that there is an over-emphasis of the importance of genetics on the profitability of our dairy farms and a lack of understanding of how change in the genetics of our cows plays out at a herd level. I believe genetics is important, especially for fertility and health traits, but the benefit derived from improved production is simply misguided and over-estimated. The most expensive part of my enterprise is my land and I strive to grow as much grass as I can from it. I calve my cows down at a time that allows me to directly harvest as much of this grass by my cows as possible. ...
In 2017, lion in FNQ lost a contract to supply a local hospital.
To sell that milk in Brisbane - the local farmers were forced to pay transport to Brisbane.
This is in a state which is not self sufficient in milk!
The forces of free enterprise - which the local farmers did not have any control
Of kicked in.
Commercial decisions were made which were not logical for the regions.
In case you are not aware - the Atherton Tableland has been identified by CSIRO AS an a...
I think what needs to be discussed more and expanded more is the DEMAND Pool
Most discussion is about the supply pool. This is important.
No one in the “Rule Setting” arena seems to understand the demand pool or strategic importance of this.
The DEMAND pool (if that is the right word) is as follows.
25 million people growing @ 1.5% per year - this year it will be about 375,000 people ?
This year 25 million Australians will consume the following
They will drink 102 litres each
2.55 billion litres
They will eat 13.6 kg of cheese which will use 136 litres o...
Change needs to deliver greater profitability to farmers. The major barrier to this is the fact that milk is rapidly degraded so cant be stored. This allows processors to dictate prices they will pay for this perishable commodity. Farmers need more negotiating power to get this they need market information (what there product is worth IN Australia not on the export market) and the ability to shop around their milk.
I think we need:
- Transparent markets - for example online trading platform that shows traded volumes and prices received
- An independent farm gate price comparison website - help ...
National milk pool, with suppliers in control. Simpest and fairest way forward.
No longer have the processors dictating terms.
Farmers need to step up and accept the role they have in inspiring young people in the Dairy Industry.
You can blame drought, price, DA and anyone else but yourself, but when so many backpackers are milking or 60 year old couples have milked everyday for the last year, why are millennials not interested in working on Dairy farms?
At the end of the day what can you say you have done to add value to your staff and their lives, how have you inspired the next generation?
The problem is people, are you making the industry attractive, are you treating staff how you expect to be treated?
There needs to be a mininum sell price in the market to force the supermarkets to lift the price up. Since the dollar milk has been in place, there hasnt been a price increase for dairy for nearly 10 years. What happens in the market is if the processor increases the price of milk to the shops to much the shop owners just go to the supermarket and buy it or have the supermarket deliver it. This has taken all the value out of chain as there hasnt been a price increase for 10 years and the costs keep rising to the stage theres nothing left. In the past before the dollar milk, the local market used to s...
Change is a shared responsibility. Change starts with the space in which we each operate - understanding what our role is in the industry and why.
Profitability will drive sustainability as they are so intertwined. Profitability is driven by sound structures (external to farm: eg trade; incentives; research) and production systems to suit each farm.
We all need to take ownership and responsibility for the space in which we operate.
The world has moved at a faster pace than many people can keep up with so farmers need to be engaged and have trusted impartial advisors to help keep abreast of innova...
There is a problem with a body with a huge influence in Dairy research the Gardiner Foundation being started with only Victorian funds and thus being focused on only Victorian farming practices disadvantaging other states eg Tasmania
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