Optimism high among state's dairy farmers at 2022 Spring Forum

Most Western Australian dairy farmers remain optimistic about the future despite soaring production costs, according to recent data released at the 2022 Western Dairy Spring Forum.

Consultant Sarah Lang, who is engaged by Western Dairy to coordinate the WA Dairy Farm Monitor Project (DFMP), told the Spring Forum farmers were in good spirits.

“Although the average WA profitability declined on the previous year, almost 70 per cent of farmers are expecting their business returns to improve over the next 12 months.”

In its ninth year, the DFMP provides the state’s dairy industry with valuable physical and financial performance data to drive future business decisions. Twenty-six dairy farms –stretching from Harvey to Scott River and across to Denmark – took part in the DFMP for the financial year 2021/22.

“A higher gross farm income in comparison to last year was offset by higher input costs and supply constraints, which impacted farm business margins,” said Ms Lang.

70 people attended the annual event, which took place yesterday at the Dolphin Discovery Centre in Bunbury.

Dairy Australia Board Chair James Mann has been in the state for Spring Forum and was pleased to see the enthusiasm for dairying in WA.

“There are lots of signs of investment in the WA dairy industry by those who choose to stay in it,” Mr Mann said.

The afternoon saw presentations on carbon baselines and sustainability from Carbon West and Brownes, which Mr Mann identified as an area Dairy Australia would focus on in the future. Five regional staff have already been hired nationally to support farmer knowledge and action in the climate and energy space.

The Spring Forum named Ravenhill Pastoral – based in Narrikup - as the host farm for Dairy Innovation Day for 2023, the largest dairy conference and exhibition in the state.

Yesterday also saw Robin Lammie reappointed for a second three-year term as a Director of Western Dairy, with Bonnie Ravenhill replacing retiring Jindong dairy farmer Peter Evans on the Board.

In the Western Dairy AGM following Spring Forum, Mr Lammie and Denmark dairy farmer, Andrew Jenkins, were both reappointed as Western Dairy Chair and Vice-Chair respectively for a second year.


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