Dairy farmer hopes for good

Pos­i­tive out­look for 2017

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Tobi Lof­tus Tobi.Lof­tus@cnbtimes.com.au

MONTO dairy farmer Steve Pailthorpe is re­main­ing pos­i­tive about the fu­ture of the dairy in­dus­try in 2017.

“We’re just hop­ing for a good sea­son and good prices,” Mr Pailthorpe said.

“The same as ev­ery­body else, I guess.”

He said while his prop­erty had not been di­rectly af­fected by the on­go­ing milk cri­sis he was afraid of what might hap­pen.

“We’ve had a good sea­son and the money we’ve been get­ting is okay,” he said.

“If we run into drought or more floods, the money we are get­ting won’t cut it.

“At the mo­ment though the sea­sons are good and the money is rea­son­able.”

Mr Pailthorpe said rain­fall had come at the right time over the past year.

“It’s ex­tremely dry now, but the last sum­mer was a rip­per of a sea­son and the win­ter was rea­son­able.

“There is still water in the creek.

“Fif­teen years ago, we went for five or six years with no water in the creek.

“If we run back into a drought like that, and have to buy in a lot of feed, the money won’t be good enough.”

He said he hoped com­pa­nies such as Coles and Wool­worths would start to sell milk for a fair price.

“They dic­tate the prices and it is a bit con­cern­ing,” he said.

“We seem to be price tak­ers, not mak­ers, we don’t have a say.

“We milk for the money we get or we don’t milk at all.”

Mr Pailthorpe said things were chang­ing though.

“At least (the is­sues are) out there now and peo­ple are aware,” he said.

“Talk­ing to peo­ple off the land, they are start­ing to re­alise if they don’t sup­port milk farm­ers they wont be there.”

Mr Pailthorpe said he was “not com­plain­ing too much yet” about the prices.

“A good sea­son will help us, though you can’t con­trol the sea­son, but the big com­pa­nies can con­trol the money we get,” he said.

“That is where it falls back on those fel­las.

“To be sus­tain­able for 10, 20, even 50 years they’ll have to start giv­ing us a bit of a price in­crease.”

While Mr Pailthorpe was go­ing into 2017 with a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude, he said the fu­ture of the in­dus­try was still un­cer­tain.

“I’m a lit­tle bit con­fused,” he said.

“We’re not re­ally sure where we are go­ing. PHOTO: ANASTASSIA PERETS

“We are still con­fi­dent and breed­ing cows, we want to go ahead.

“We want the milk in­dus­try to go ahead, but we don’t know where we are headed.

“But we’re not com­plain­ing too much yet, as there are a lot of peo­ple worse off than us.”

DAIRY FARM: Steve Pailthorpe with his fam­ily – part­ner He­len Goody and their four boys, Jack­son, Hec­tor, Oliver and Cody.

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