Western Dairy Annual Report 2018-19

Western Dairy's latest Annual Report highlights the dairy industry’s challenges over the past financial year including rationalisation, rising feed costs and a drying climate, as well as the organisation’s proactive response to them.

Western Dairy executive officer Esther Jones said that despite only 150 WA dairy farms operating in 2018-19, annual milk production in the state has remained relatively consistent over recent years at 374 million litres and last year contributed $188 million to the state economy.

“Our industry did take a 10 million litre hit in 2018-19 mostly due to the impacts of a tough season,” said Mrs Jones.

“While there has been and I’m sure will continue to be rationalisation of businesses across the spectrum of industry, dairy businesses are mostly growing both in size and complexity.

“WA’s 150 dairy farms are on average, looking after the largest herds in the country. This phenomenon together with our geographic isolation and our pasture-dominated farming systems provide the basis for Western Dairy’s growing list of projects and priorities.”

Striking the right combination of research, extension, training, industry promotion and positioning is a key responsibility of the Western Dairy Board, to ensure that it is meeting the needs of its levy payers.

Western Dairy chair Vicki Fitzpatrick said WA was a small dairying state in terms of milk volume and business numbers, yet it had exceptional support from Western Dairy and Dairy Australia.

“Over the past financial year, Western Dairy delivered 40 extension activities supporting a record number of farmers, service providers, industry stakeholders, Young Dairy Network members, university students and school children,” Mrs Fitzpatrick said.

“Western Dairy consistently leverages dairy farmer levies to attract additional funding to better address local priorities and increase the range of activities it offers.

“From the seasonal response workshops designed to help us refocus on feed, financial budgeting and employment, to the WA Seed Performance trials and Dairycare effluent projects, to the Dairy Innovation Day conference and the new dairy traineeships for ag college graduates – Western Dairy continues to punch above its weight.”

Download the Western Dairy Annual Report 2018-19.

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