Will Dairy Farming Survive?

Statistics Based on Dairy Farming

According to statistics released by Australian Dairy Industry in 2016, there are 6,100 dairy farms with an approximate of 1.66 million cows. They approximated that every herd was having 284 cows. The report also stated that every year a cow produces an average of 5,669 litres of milk which amount to an overall milk production quantity of 9.5 billion litres in Australia. In addition, an Australian was estimated to be consuming 105 litres of milk and 13.9 Kg of cheese every year.

Dairy farming in 2016 directly employed an approximately 38,000 Australians while feeding over 24 million people every day and millions of others in the overseas. The report had shown Australia exports around 34% of the whole volume of milk production to Greater China and Japan. It realizes $3 billion as revenue from exporting various dairy products. From the above statistics, you might have various conclusions but various farmers, industries, and cooperatives need to assure their customers the survival of dairy farming.

Survival of Small Scale Dairy Farming

It is usual that when a consumer buys milk from supermarkets and milk bars, there is no capability of determining the farm where the milk came from or maybe the essentials that a farmer is required fulfil before getting the milk to the store. You can never know when the cow was even milked or the location of the farm where the milk came from. Also, a consumer may never understand some of the challenges that face small-scale dairy farmers.

Most of the small dairy farmers find it difficult to cover their operational costs and even plan ahead because of the current prices of milk. Since the last decade, there has been instability of milk pricing and this volatility makes it even harder for small dairy farmers to survive in this era. Low prices of milk may be beneficial to the consumers and most retailers but to dairy farmers, it is always a loss count for them. This has made their survival very hard in dairy farming.

For small farmers to survive and get their milk to an economical level of pricing they just have to operate with lower costs and that simply means producing higher volumes of milk or making various value-added products like cheese, yoghurts etc. They also have to adopt new strategies in their business but for those who don’t know what to do yet their survival is not guaranteed, they have just the alternative of exiting the dairy farming industry.

How to Ensure Dairy Farming Survive

As an industry or cooperative dealing with dairy farming, you have to understand that consumers are not concerned about the costs of production you are incurring; they are just concerned about low prices of milk in the market. What do you do to survive in such an environment? Well. This calls for coming up with new strategies that will reduce your costs of production and increase your milk production quantity and profit.

It is very important to focus on the freshness of your milk before taking it through processing. In addition, animal husbandry is crucial. Avoid rearing those indigenous cows. Yes, they have their advantages but they produce a very low amount of milk. Go for the modern breeds of cows and you will smile at the level of milk they will produce.

Many industries are not aware that taking good care of your animal results into higher production. Good trimming of hooves can result to happy cows. A happy cow produces more milk. Ensure good diet and quality feed and antibiotics when sick. Dairy farming is guaranteed if we adopt sustainable farming practices.

Joe Stimpson

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