Dairy farmers take a hit
MONTO dairy farmers are facing the challenge of lower prices and prolonged hot, dry weather.
Prior to the new deal between Port Curtis Dairy and Parmalat, dairy farmers in the district were receiving 58 cents per litre.
But they have been dealt a blow, with a reduction of four to five cents per litre in price for their product.
It represents about a $4000 per month drop in earnings for a farmer who produces an average of one million litres per year.
And drought-like conditions have also reduced feed levels in the paddock.
Monto dairy farmer Peter Brown said he could see many of his fellow dairy farmers moving out of the industry because of the reduced price.
But he did not want to talk down the industry.
“Losing four to five cents a litre is your profit gone,” Mr Brown said. “And this is significant, as dairying is a cost-intensive industry.
“I can understand consumers looking for the cheapest deals, but the $1-a-litre milk deal is just a marketing strategy to get people through supermarket doors.
“It does nothing to maintain a viable dairy industry.
“But I don’t want to see the banks scared off lending to those still in the industry.”
Australia Day 2011was a turn- ing point for the industry, when the supermarket milk war began with $1 per litre generic brand milk.
Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation communications officer Brad Pfeffer said it left farmers with little return for their product, and had forced many out of the industry.
“The last time milk was a dollar a litre was back in 1992.”
Parmalat was contacted for this story but could not be reached.