Presentations & Papers

Evolution of dairy production systems in Australia…and can the country stop the ‘rot’

By David Beca

This presentation was delivered to the Australian Dairy Farmers ‘Farming Systems and Herd Improvement Policy Advisory Group’ in April 2020. The presentation was primarily informed from a paper that I had submitted for publication titled “Evaluating the Loss of Profitability and Declining Milk Production in the Australian Dairy Industry”, along with additional analysis of each Australian state’s dairy industry performance. There was also some data presented from a draft paper that was subsequently submitted for publication titled “Key Determinants of Profit for Pasture-based Dairy Farms”. Both papers have been published in Australian Agribusiness Perspectives.

The presentation compares the trends in milk production, profitability and production systems in Australia compared to five other countries including New Zealand, Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa and United States. It outlines where Australia has lost international competitiveness with these other countries over the last two decades. Many of the trends are further described for each of the states of Australia and for the three main dairy regions in Victoria. The presentation also outlines what might need to change for the Australian dairy industry to improve on-farm profitability and recover the industry’s international competitiveness.

One of the conclusions is that the evolution in international farm production systems is causing major changes to the competitiveness of different countries, and that many farmers in the Australian dairy industry would need to adopt a production system with a higher percentage of pasture in the diet for the industry to recover its international competitiveness.

To view a video of the webinar presentation please click https://youtu.be/Fh-2PV3FZHo

To download the PowerPoint slides please click here.

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