Michael Harvey meets Highlands dairy farmers in Burrawang

Michael Harvey. Photo: supplied

Michael Harvey. Photo: supplied

Future pressure and changes within the global dairy industry is something Highlands farmers need to be informed about.

This is the advice of dairy commentator Michael Harvey

The current uncertainty in the dairy industry was addressed in Burrawang this week.

Mr Harvey, who is also a Rabobbank senior analyst, visited the Highlands on Tuesday to discuss changes to the industry and its supply chain as well as looking towards the 2018/19 season.

Close to 30 people attended the event held at Burrawang Village Hotel.

Despite dry weather for the start of the 2017/18 season, Mr Harvey said many of the Highlands farmers remained positive given some recent rain.

“Dairy farmers no matter where you’re farming, if you had a good season because the weather is favourable you’ll go a long way to being profitable,” he said.

“It’s been a challenging start but the mood seemed to reasonably upbeat given the recent rain.”

With a takeover of Australia’s largest milk processor Murray Goulburn on the cards, Mr Harvey said most farmers were interested in how this could affect them and what possible opportunities or risks it could present.

“They (farmers) at least need to understand the change and potentially assess if there’s any opportunities or risks and how that might affect their business. It’s really about assessing what it all means for their own business.”

Jane Sherborne, who runs a dairy farm with her family in Burrawang said it had been an informative talk.

“I think Michael has done a great analysis job for Rabobank, from information supplied by Dairy Australia, and Rabobank’s world wide network, explaining the pricing pressures that we and our processors are under, that ultimately dictate milk price to the farm gate,” she said.

“We as dairy farmers, need to focus on our own businesses, insuring that we make informed decisions. That’s why when there is a well informed presentation on offer, such as the one delivered by Rabobank, it’s a great opportunity for dairy farmers to listen and ask questions. The more knowledge we have the better decisions we can make, for our future in the Australian dairy industry.”

Obviously Rabobank has gone to great lengths to present yesterday and places great value on its farmer customers, with the strong strategy to work with and support leading farmers from around the world.

There was plenty of discussion about the changes surrounding the way milk is procured, how it is priced and what it is being processed in.

“Farmers are interested in understanding what that means for the industry as a whole and then more regionally.”

Mr Harvey said while things were “pretty balanced” at the moment, future pressure on the industry, particularly from Europe could put more pressure on farmgate prices in Australia during the 18/19 season in the southern export region.