Australian milk production falls 2% on 2014/15 season

Australian milk production has fallen 2% in the 2015/2016 season compared to the 2014/2015 season, new figures from Dairy Australia show.

Some 9,539 billion litres of milk were produced in Australia for the season just gone, down from the 9,731 billion litres produced for the previous season.

June milk production was down 8.8% year-on-year with 619,899L produced. The state of Victoria, which produces 64% of Australia’s milk, saw production for June fall by 9.1% with 398,703L produced.

New South Wales, the second biggest milk producing region, saw production fall by 8.4%, while Tasmania, one of the smaller milk producing regions, saw milk production drop 18.2%.

The latest Dairy Situation and Outlook from Dairy Australia found that on-farm, the 2015/16 season has been characterised by challenging seasonal conditions in many regions.

Rainfall across the country has been variable but generally below average, and while April was forecast to provide a much needed autumn break, totals received for the month were lower than predicted.

Meanwhile, the report found that constrained pasture growth has coincided with a tight market for hay, while lower international grain prices have taken some time to flow through to the Australian market.

For irrigators, low allocations and high demand drove temporary water prices to post-drought highs.

Fertiliser remains a bright spot and a more favourable rainfall outlook suggests farmers may be better placed to take advantage of an ongoing global oversupply to grow more feed on-farm, where cash flow permits, it found.

This decrease in production for the 2015/2016 is in contrast to the previous season, when Australian milk production increased by nearly 360m litres, or 3.8%, to 9.73 billion litres.

Dairy Australia said that the increase in production last season reflected improved conditions on a difficult prior year for many dairy farmers.