Farm cash income to increase for NSW dairy farmers

The average farm cash income of dairy farms in NSW is projected to increase in 2016–17, according to a report by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARES).

The web-report, which looks at the physical characteristics of Australian dairy-producing farms in 2015-16, does not favour well for the remainder of the industry across the country.

It predicts lower farmgate milk prices and reduced average milk production per farm will reduce the average Australian farm cash income by 16 per cent to $105,000.

Average farm cash income of dairy farms declined from about $157,000 per farm in 2014–15 to about $125,000 in 2015–16.

Farm cash income fell in all Australian dairy regions except NSW, Queensland and Western Australia, reflecting lower milk prices.

Total receipts for dairy farms nationally fell by about 3 per cent in 2015–16, on average, largely due to lower milk prices. The report states the fall in prices followed a step-down in milk payments to dairy farmers by major dairy processors, particularly in southern NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

Farm cash income is projected to increase by 2 per cent in NSW, despite total cash costs rising in 2015-16.

Milk receipts increased in 2015–16 in NSW due to increases in average milk production per farm and milk prices, while lower milk receipts because of reduced milk production per farm and reduced dairy cattle receipts are projected to lead to a decline in total cash receipts in 2016–17.

The report also showed the number of dairy farms in NSW had decreased by 44 per cent but the total capital value of dairy farms in the region rose by 25 per cent in real terms, accounting for about 9 per cent of the total capital value of Australian dairy farms in 2015–16.

The results are for farms included in the Australian Dairy Industry Survey (ADIS).