Aust milk production decreases
AUSTRALIA’S milk production continues to slide as dry conditions and a shortage of feed forces culling of cows.
According to Dairy Australia’s preliminary figures milk production for August was down 4.7 per cent compared with the same month last year.
At the end of August, financial year-to-date production was down
3.9 per cent.
Last financial year Australia produced 9.3 billion litres.
Cull cows across Victorian saleyards were up 33 per cent until the end of August compared with last year, with the average carcass weight price down 12 per cent this year to 385.84c/kg, according to data compiled by Dairy Australia.
Until the end of August last year there were 11,804 dairy cows culled.
That number has risen to
15,684 this year.
A meat processor recently reported a lift of
25–30 per cent in dairy cow numbers during the past three months.
Cows sold directly to processors are not included in saleyard figures.
Victorian milk production was down 6.9 per cent for August compared with the same month last year, with a huge 11.9 per cent drop in western Victoria, according to Dairy Australia figures.
Northern Victoria was down
2.9 per cent for August and Gippsland production fell
5.2 per cent. Queensland and New South Wales, on the other hand, both down 4.6 per cent for August compared with the same month last year were – in some cases – into a second year of dry conditions, so the comparison was against weaker production.
Mr Droppert said the production decline at this point in the season was a reflection of culling, but he predicted later season production falls could be a result of cutting back on feed or feeding poorer quality forage due to lack of availability.