Dry seasonal conditions between 2018-19 and 2019-20 constrained the financial performance of Australian dairy farms, but national farm performance is projected to improve slightly on average in 2020-21 (ABARES, 2021).
Variations in seasonal conditions, milk prices and feed prices across different states are effecting farm performance and confidence in the industry (Dairy Australia, 2021).
Farm expansion and industry exit intentions in Australian dairy
Southern Australian dairy regions are forecast to have a decline in milk prices in 2021, with low hay and grain prices and increasing on farm feed production due to favourable seasonal conditions.
Exiting of farms from the dairy industry is partly contributing to projected falls in Queenslands’ milk production for 2020-21 (ABARES, 2021), with the National Dairy Farmer Survey indicating dairy farmers in sub-tropical regions to have the highest proportion of intentions to wind down farming operations (12%), alongside farmers in West Victoria (12%) (Dairy Australia, 2021).
Dairy Australia’s “Dairy Situation and Outlook” report provides a regional overview of Australian Dairy farmer confidence, profitability and industry exit intensions, as seen below.
Contextualising macro and micro insights to segment and profile Australian dairy farmers
Agriculture is exposed to volatility and uncertainty, be that from weather, prices or trade tensions.
Understanding farmer sentiment and behaviour relies on harnessing macro level insights regarding these variables, alongside direct insights in relation to key activities on farm. Such insights are crucial for policy making and understanding barriers to industry growth and change.
The 2021 National Dairy Farmer Survey interviewed 713 Australian Dairy farmers and provides regional level insights regarding factors such as farm business confidence and investment decisions.
Take the comparison of the “average Tasmanian” Dairy farmer with the “average Subtropical” Dairy Farmer for example:
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Dairy Australia (2021). Dairy Situation Outlook June 20921. Retrieved 24 July, 2021 https://www.dairyaustralia.com.au/industry-statistics/industry-reports/situation-and-outlook-report#.YPuGH5Mza3I
ABARES. (2021). Farm performance: broadacre and dairy farms, 2018–19 to 2020–21. ABARES research report. Canberra. Doi: https://doi.org/10.25814/ycy6-3p65.