Dry seasonal conditions in much of Australia are placing pressure on dairy farmers nationwide as feed and water prices increase due to high demand and limited supply.
Dairy Australia managing director Dr David Nation said high demand for fodder in some regions is causing a feed shortage across the east coast of Australia, while water prices and availability are also adding uncertainty for irrigators.
“In response to these challenges we are focused on providing advice and support to maximise home-grown feed in late winter and spring, assisting farmers with determining ongoing feed requirements, and encouraging the need to plan ahead as conditions continue to unfold.
“Dairy Australia activities will also be ramped up to provide insights on the hay, grain and water situation, and to ensure farmers have access to the best possible information to make the right decisions.
“We recognise that a feed shortage is the last thing the industry needs after a difficult few years, but we feel confident in the strength of the dairy community, and the ability to draw on our experience in managing feed shortages and challenging operating environments.
“The most important message for all dairy farmers is to be prepared and act now to best prepare your business for the coming year,” said Dr Nation.
The industry’s Regional Development Programs (RDPs) will focus on providing support – delivering tools and resources to guide decisions on-farm in relation to feed planning and management.
Dairy Australia will promote its most important reports to manage these conditions, including the Hay and Grain Reports and Farm Inputs Monitor, while free feed budgeting tools are available to help farmers plan ahead.
RDPs are increasing regional extension activities about feed options and optimisation. These activities will be promoted through industry networks and communications direct to dairy farmers.
“To navigate these tough times, I encourage farmers to reach out to the support around them, contact their RDP and tap into resources available in their region,” said Dr Nation.
The most important message for all dairy farmers is to be prepared and act now to best prepare your business for the coming year.Dr David Nation, Dairy Australia MD