Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Milk Is Flowing, Not Profit

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Milk Is Flowing, Not Profit

Article excerpt

Byline: RICK BAYNE Dairy industry

MIRIAM Vale farmer Wayne Bayliss is reaping record production from his cows and would like to expand but is being thwarted by low profit margins.

"We want to get bigger but we just can't," he said.

"We're getting 56-57 cents a litre and our costs are about 53 cents a litre."

"We're waiting to see if we're going to get a pay rise to do any more investment. We can't go anywhere at the moment - we need to go up in price to be able to pick up production."

The price dilemma follows three years of floods that destroyed his farming land.

This year's near-perfect conditions have resulted in record production but Mr Bayliss, like many farmers, can't capitalise on the favourable climate.

"Our cows have never milked better," he said. "After three years of just rain, we've had a really good season.

"I'd like to change the dairy and go 15 a side and go up to 300 cows, but I'd need another block of land to run the extra cattle."

Production peaked at a record 23 litres per cow per day but Mr Bayliss is down to a herd of 230 after cutting from 260 in November.

"I have 34 heifers due to calve in August and I'm thinking about advertising them so we don't have to struggle so much and cut costsa[degrees]but I don't want to sell them."

Mr Bayliss said he was selling any cow with a problem to counteract booming grain and feed costs. He also cut back on herd recording and other regular activities to keep a lid on costs.

The farm has needed to reinvest in pastures and apply more fertiliser to repair flood damage.

"It wasn't too bad in 2010 but 2011 and 2012 nearly wiped us out and summer 2013 we had water as far as you could see," he said.

"All our summer pastures got wiped out. We're back to native pasture on 90% of our property where we had improved pasture. We didn't have any country left. We had 500 head running on 40 acres for weeks."

Apart from the floods, Mr Bayliss blames $1 litre milk for the industry's problems. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.