Presentations & Papers - Featured

Key determinants of profitability for pasture-based dairy farms
The key determinants of profitability for pasture-based dairy farms, and the impact of changes in pasture harvest, milk production per cow and production system (as determined by pasture as per cent of cow’s diet) on business performance are explored. One of the outcomes from this paper was to define a core group of ratios that can be used to reliably analyse farm business performance. A further outcome was to answer a common question as to whether the selection of a production system was relevant in determining the level of profitability of a dairy farm. An addendum to this paper is also available that compares the Australian set of data with a South African set of data. To download the paper please click here.
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Evaluating the loss of profitability and declining milk production in the Australian dairy industry
The question explored in this paper is whether, and, if so, why a significant proportion of dairy farm businesses in Australia have lost their competitiveness compared to other major dairy producers in the world. This paper proposes that the choice of production system by farmers is the primary determinant of the loss in profitability and the contraction in milk supply, and if lower cost of production systems were adopted by Australian dairy farmers in the future, then the Australian dairy industry could return to a position of annual increases in milk supply of 2-3 per cent. An addendum to this paper is also available that includes additional information on all six countries that could not be included in the published paper. To download the paper please click here.
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Seminar: Future proofing your dairy business for the 2020’s
This Eastern Cape seminar is now planned for 10 November 2020 with a KwaZulu-Natal seminar on 19 November. The EC seminar will be held at Nanaga Farm Stall, Nanaga, N2 Hwy & R72, Alexandria with David Beca as the primary presenter. The theme of the seminar is “If increasing pasture harvest has been the key strategy to improvements in profitability over the last 15-20 years, what will be the key strategies for the next 10 years?” To see full details on the seminar and presentations please click here.
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Evolution of dairy production systems in leading exporting countries plus South Africa…and what can be forecast for the next 5 years
This paper was presented in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa at a dairy seminar in October 2019. It includes a comparison of Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Uruguay & United States as major exporters as well as South Africa. A suite of 20 key business performance ratios are reviewed comparing performance over the last 17 years and a forecast for the next 5 years.
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Which are the critical dairy business performance characteristics that will provide profitability and sustainability for the next 5-10 years
This paper was presented in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa at a dairy seminar in October 2019. This included a full statistical analysis of 2 large databases of dairy farm performance; one from Australia and the other from South Africa. The presentation included information on 69 important relationships that directly relate to dairy farm performance and profitability.
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Building a resilient, flourishing, internationally competitive dairy industry in Ireland
This superlative report was written by Con Hurley & Mike Murphy in 2015 for the Irish “2025 Agri Food Strategy Committee”. For anyone interested in understanding the key principles for building an internationally competitive pasture-based dairy industry, then this is an essential report to read. To download the full report please click here.
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The Interview re: Evolution of dairy production systems in the world’s leading exporters
David Beca was interviewed in Uruguay in relation to the paper that he presented at the 2019 INALE Foro. David answers 4 questions including 1) How would you summarise the milk production and economic trends over the last 17 years for Argentina, Uruguay, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa & United States? 2) What do dairy farmers need to do to get a good return on capital (or to improve their profitability)? 3) What are the prospects or forecast for the 6 countries analysed? 4) What are the opportunities that I see for improvements in the production systems in Uruguay? (this question is equally relevant to Argentina & Australia). To view the interview (preguntas y subtexto en español) please click here.

Evolution of dairy production systems in the world’s leading exporters
This paper was presented in Uruguay at the INALE Foro in June 2019. It includes a comparison of Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Uruguay & United States as major exporters as well as South Africa. A suite of around 17 key business performance ratios are reviewed comparing performance over the last 17 years and a forecast for the next 5 years.
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Rethinking your Dairy Business Profitability - What drives profit and which ratios to monitor?
This paper was presented in Ecuador and outlines how dairy farmers (and advisors) should analyse dairy businesses to determine how they are performing, as well as confirming what factors drive profitability. This includes a full statistical analysis of a relatively unique dataset of dairy farms in Australia.
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International Competitiveness of Southern Hemisphere Dairy Businesses
This paper is a development of an earlier one that was named “Make Australia Dairy Farming Great Again”, though with more information on the development of 5 key countries; New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Uruguay & South Africa. Versions of this paper have been presented in Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa and then this latest version in Ecuador.
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Things the most successful farmers (and their advisors) get right
This paper was initially written by Associate Professor Bill Malcolm and Alex Sinnett from University of Melbourne and presented in New Zealand. Subsequently David Beca provided some further input to the paper and presented it in Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay and then this latest version in Ecuador.
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Tri-Nations Revisited
Profitability variations between the average and the best in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. This paper sets out to determine the differences between the levels of profitability in pasture-based dairying in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
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Economies of Scale in Dairying
Are there economies of scale in pasture-based dairying? What is the most economic size of a pasture-based dairy farm? These questions were answered in this paper delivered to the University of Sydney Dairy Research Foundation Symposium in November 2006.
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