What a year of contrasts it has been in the northern dairy industry.
From drought and empty silage pits to a widespread improvement in seasonal conditions combined with rising milk prices mid-year, things changed very quickly.
In recent months, record increases in fertilizer and fuel prices have dampened some confidence, but overall things are improving.
Yes, we have seen and continue to see releases after the drought and I have no doubt that the high price of beef makes for a smooth transition for some.
But where from here? Do we, as individuals and as an industry, just breathe and consolidate our current position, or do we look to the future and invest in our business and grow?
I think now is the time for those who want to grow their business and look to the future.
We have strong demand for milk from major processors and that has driven prices up this year.
With the latest increase in generic milk prices by retailers, $ 1 per liter of milk is now absolutely dead.
In part thanks to consumers and the past efforts of QDO and Dairy Connect. All of this means that we have no downward pressure on the farm gate price of milk in the short to medium term in Queensland and New South Wales.
Yet we still face challenges. With the new consumer focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements which include traditional environmental concerns, emissions, animal welfare and general social license to operate, we must be prepared to adapt. .
Advocacy must intensify and ensure that the transition to new practices is done in a way and with enough assistance to have a net positive effect on the hip pocket of the farmer.
With the newly formed eastAUSmilk, there has been renewed optimism around the northern dairy industry and what advocacy can do to help farmers get back on track.
We have a positive agenda and we will focus not only on survival, but also on developing a thriving and successful dairy industry that we can be proud of.