Dairy farmer hopes for good
Positive outlook for 2017
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.