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The Forum > General Discussion > End of Dairy West of the Divide ?

End of Dairy West of the Divide ?

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The price paid at the farm gate for milk is too low to enable the
farmer to survive droughts of the length that occur.
They are unable to build a safety buffer to enable them to feed stock
for years.
As far as I can see the situation east of the dividing range is not
the same as those farmers are not selling their breeding stock.

Has the time come to abandon dairy farming in the areas now devastated
by drought. At least a grain grower does not have hungry animals to
feed when the rains don't come. The financial buffer he needs would
be easier to manage while he waits for rain. The main worry he has is
will he buy grain to sow and risk whether it will rain.
Perhaps some more hard decisions are needed.
Posted by Bazz, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 7:50:17 AM
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Dear Bazz,

You may be right. With higher temperatures due to climate change accentuating and extending droughts conditions the viability of dairy farms west of the divide must be questioned.
Posted by SteeleRedux, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 8:41:15 AM
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Dairy farmers - all farmers in Australia - have been "devastated" by by drought for a couple of centuries. Droughts haven't changed, nor has the whinging. Good farmers survive. Bad farmers don't. And for those who can't help yabbering about climate change - that has nothing to do with drought, as the IPCC has old them.

If farming in Australia was as bad as it is touted, farmers would not still be on the land. What we, as consumers should be concentrating on, is the increasingly poor quality of farm products we are paying too much for so that these 'poor' farmers can export the good good stuff.
Posted by ttbn, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 9:42:29 AM
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Bazz good subject good point, drought is rough and follows on from another one
Low price milk is going to do as much harm as the drought
Power Control, Influence of the big food marketers to kill some suppliers is there for all to see
And it is wrong
My shopping [live much like I did in the real bush] is buying for a few weeks
My larder is long life milk selected for the best price farmers can get
If we all did that it could help, may even bring the retailers in to line
Posted by Belly, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 10:50:08 AM
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Dear Bazz,

I watched the Q and A episode on the drought.
It was heart-wrenching.

Here's a few points that were made that evening:

1) Government water reforms have worsened the effects of
the drought, according to a senior water researcher.

On a Q and A episode that focused on a wide range of
perspectives about the drought Maryanne Slattery, from
the Australian Institute said water reforms, including the
Water Market and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan (MDBP) have
made things worse. She said that the Murray Darling Basin
Plan was a "train-wreck."

"I think that governments have exacerbated this drought."
Ms Slattery said.

She was responding to a video question from Victorian
dairy farmer Natalie Akers from Tallygaroopna who said the
Murray Darling Basin Plan had created a "man-made drought"
leading to the loss of thousands of jobs in Northern
Victoria, an area responsible for the production of 80% of
milk in the basin.

"The dairy industry is on its knees and its got very little
time left,"Slattery said going on to provide evidence
of government mismanagement.

"We've had increased extractions in the northern basin
with the increase of flood-plain harvesting,"she said.

" We've got changes to the Barwon-Darling water-sharing
plan which takes all of the water in the river at low-flows."

"The government drained Menindee Lakes in 2016-2017 and
has never been able to give an explanation as to why they
drained the lakes when there was flooding in South
Australia."

"We've got the construction of big new dams in the
Murrumbidgee which are designed to capture flows that
naturally would come out of the Murrumbidgee and
underwrite the reliability of water licences in the Murray."

"And last year we saw the flooding of the Barmah-Millewa
forest for operational reasons to push water down for
almonds at the end of the system that otherwise could have
been used to grow fodder for dairy and cows."

There's more at the following link:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-19-29/government-water-policies-making-drought-worse-says-researcher/11647884
Posted by Foxy, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 10:57:04 AM
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Dear Bazz,

There was so much more on that same Q and A program
that evening. It was worth watching as it focused
on so many different perspectives of the drought.

The most outstanding was the 21 year old grazier,
Kate McBride, from
the NSW town of Menindee who called for a Royal
Commission into the handling of the Murray Darling
Basin. (remember the dead fish?).

There's more here:

http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/on-fire-fierce-21yearold-grazier-kate-mcbride-confronts-drought-minister/news-story/72ac80077edc51f76314e13ad1daff26
Posted by Foxy, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 11:07:40 AM
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