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Welcome to the Performance Probiotics news hub. Here you will find up-to-date and
industry relevant news articles about Performance Probiotics, and the industries we service.
If you are more interested in our monthly Newsletter check out the archive here.

26-Feb-2013

Drought hitting NZ milk flows

Dairy Company Association of NZ revealed that milk production in calendar year measured in milk solids terms than in 2011, reaching 20.5 million tonnes of milk.  
 
Growth in output will be short-lived.  
Milkflows have slumped in early 2013 as much of the North Island experiences one of the driest summers on record.  
 
Dairy NZ senior economist Matthew Newman said this week that February's milk production in Waikato 15% lower than at same time last year.  
 
With no sign of imminent rain, some farmers in the Waikato have reportedly reducing carrying numbers.  
There were similar reports from the Taranaki and Manawatu provinces.  
 
Source: Dairy Globe  

 
26-Feb-2013

Bega Cheese produces strong FY result

Bega Cheese produces strong FY result 10% increase in revenue for the first half of the  
reflecting improved volumes and efficiencies in cheese cutting and packaging and margin improvement in value-added dairy products.  
 
Total output across business increased volumes at its cheese cutting and packaging plants 375m litres in the half.  
 
Domestic sales had a 70% share, Asian markets a further 22% and the Middle East 5%.  
Executive chairman, Barry Irvin, said renewed Johnson, alongside long-term deals with Coles and Kraft, positioned to take advantage of strong emerging ahead, Bega expects significant growth opportunities in dairy nutritionals, continued EBITDA growth in fiscal 2013 and improving global dairy commodity markets.  
 
Source: Dairy Globe  

 
26-Feb-2013

Milk payments in debate at UDV –

Complicated milk price structures, measuring production against profitability and the viability of dairy farmers will be debated Dairyfarmers' of Victoria conference in Melbourne next month.  
 
Pricing had been planned for six months and was in response to farmers' concerns about ambiguous prices at the start of the season.  
 
Callow said the discussions on March 5 what other factories are considering.  
 
Source: Dairy Globe

 
26-Feb-2013

Floods, heat cut intake –

Latest milk production data showed the impact of flooding in the eastern states  
and summer heat waves in the south, with total intakes down 5.5% in January – the steepest monthly decline in the 2012/13 season to date.  
 
Season production has now fallen behind 2011/12 level  
first time by 0.3%.  
 
The effects of flooding from cyclone Oswald cut Queensland output by 9%, while southern NSW was down by a similar percentage.  
 
Only Nth Victoria posted an increase – just 1.4% as the heat burned into production. Gippsland was down a thumping 12% on the year before, while the West of the state lost 5%.  
 
Source: Dairy Globe  

 
22-Feb-2013

Searching for dairy solutions

IT seems everyone is getting behind the dairy farmer's plight.  
This week, several 'crisis' meetings were held around Victoria and SA, attracting a whole swag of politicians.  
 
They pledged to throw their support behind Farmer Power, a group that is aiming to ease on-farm financial pressures, and achieve a better milk price. There's been no shortage of political talk about the problem, but exactly what solutions have been put forward?  
 
It is undeniable some dairy farmers have now reached crisis point, driven to the point of collapse by rising costs and falling returns.  
 
At Farmer Power's first public rally at Tongala last week, organiser Chris Gleeson asked the 500-strong crowd to raise their hand if they were under 30 years of age.  
 
Four, perhaps five people did - rousing anxiety about where the next generation of farmers will come from if the financial enticement to milk cows was just not there.  
 
At other meetings around the country, including Warrnambool (where 200 people attended) and Mt Gambier, SA (another 200), many producers declared they could no longer pay their bills.  
 
Others revealed they had been forced to sell their farms altogether and would not be here next year.  
 
However, everyone at the meetings remained concerned about one thing: the industry's future, and exactly how farmers will now move forward.  
 
So, one question remains - what realistic solutions are Farmer Power working towards?  
 
A fairer farm-gate milk price is the ultimate objective, but organiser Nigel Hicks is fully aware this cannot happen overnight.  
 
"We've said from the start we are not in a position to wait for lobbying and laws to change, but we do need a short-term result now," he said.  
 
"I've heard of two farms in Gippsland going bankrupt, and more in the Western District, so there is an urgency about this."  
 
Farmer Power are now signing up members at a going rate of $50, and quite a few different solutions have been put forward by producers, service providers and politicians.  
 
"The key ideas that keep popping up are based around how we can reduce costs - and regain control of our price," he said.  
 
Mr Hicks also said one of the key elements to arise from the meetings was a sense that farmers were regaining control of their industry.  
 
"There is no shortage of passion and those who might not have gotten involved with traditional lobby groups feel ours is a fresh approach to the problem," he said.  
 
"If we put pressure in the right areas, I feel we can get a positive result for the industry."  
 
He said the plan now was to collate ideas and continue to build momentum.  
 
WATER  
 
Water arose as a key issue among northern Victorian and Southern Riverina dairy farmers, who rely heavily on irrigation.  
 
Campaspe Shire Mayor and livestock agent, Ian Maddison, said many of the issues faced by the region's farmers at the moment had come about because of the decade-long drought. He said the rationalisation of the irrigation system and Murray Darling Basin Plan had added uncertainty to an already fragile dairy industry.  
 
Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce also promised the crowd at last week's Tongala meeting to cap buybacks at 1500 gigalitres.  
 
Mr Hicks said security of water supply was critical and would certainly be on Farmer Power's agenda moving forward.  
 
REREGULATION  
 
Australia Party leader Bob Katter has already suggested this idea, but other politicians are adamant in their stance that reregulation of the dairy industry would never happen.  
 
"Reregulation is very difficult. Most milk here (Victoria) is exported and you have to get every State on board," Mr Joyce said. "I can't be some sort of prophet…I will try to pick fights I can win."  
 
Reregulation still remains a solution for some dairy farmers, with one Finley, NSW, calling for milk to be pooled under a single desk. Mr Hicks said he would be surprised if Farmer Power gained traction here, but he remained optimistic.  
 
"I think there is room for some form of set milk price that is controlled - for us to get fair return," he said.  
 
TARIFFS  
ROBERT Danieli, who is a Campaspe Shire councillor and runs a stockfeed company, said placing tariffs on imported food products would help the Australian dairy industry compete on a more even level.  
 
"We pay Australian wages, with Australian quality controls. Stop this free trade garbage and put tariffs on these inferior products," he said, receiving a round of applause from the Tongala crowd.  
 
Mr Hicks said placing tariffs on imported products was another area Farmer Power were hoping to makes changes in.  
 
"It would be nice if we weren't trying to compete with subsidised inputs," he said.  
 
LABOUR REFORM/TAX CHANGES  
FEDERAL Member for Murray, Sharman Stone, told Farmer Power she wanted to see changes to labour laws.  
 
"We don't work nine to five and penalty rates make it difficult," she said.  
 
Mr Hicks agreed, and added he would like to see the Australian Government follow in New Zealand's lead in terms of GST and tax laws.  
 
"New Zealand dairy farmers have seen a turnaround of fortunes, because the Government is looking after primary industries," he said. "This is not going to provide all the answers, but the dairy industry employs 50,000 people - and we need laws that make it attractive to farm for a start."  
 
MARKET POWER  
BARNABY Joyce said pushing for a review of the Competition and Consumer Act, which allowed for room to prove "unconscionable conduct" was a realistic "fight to pick".  
 
Farmer Power organisers were particuarly bouyed by the ACCC's investigation into Coles and Woolworths this week.  
 
"We've had plenty of ACCC reviews and senate inquiries in the past on this that have been ineffective, but its refreshing to see suppliers come forward this time," Mr Hick said.  
 
GET RID OF THE CARBON TAX  
Shadow Agriculture Minister John Cobb told those at the Warrnambool meeting last week he would abolish the carbon tax if the Coalition was voted into power later this year.  
 
He said the carbon tax was placing an extra $10,000 to an operation's costs annually.  
 
Mr Hicks understood this solution to reduce costs was entirely reliant on a change of power, but he said Farmer Power would be pushing for change in any area where costs could be slashed.  
 
POSITIVE ADVERTISING  
Northern Victorian dairy farmer Di Malcolm said there was a need for farmers to tell their story, possibly through advertising.  
 
The New Zealander said those who lived in urban cities in her home country saw farming as an honourable career, perhaps because it had the backing of Government and Fonterra.  
 
"I believe we should be looking at advertising and marketing in mainstream media and educating urban people about how significant our contribution to this industry is," she said.  
 
Mr Hicks said bridging the gap between city and country people was on Farmer Power's agenda.  
 
"That's certainly one of areas where we've been let down by traditional representative bodies," he said.  
 
Source: Queensland Country Life

 
12-Feb-2013

Bega investing in cheese, proteins

Bega Cheese announced plans to expand its Tatura site and aims to buy additional  
land for the expansion of manufacturing at Tatura.  
 
Bega also announced a $2 million investment in cheddar cheese manufacturing capacity to meet growing demand from its private label supply agreement with coles and $8 million on further value adding of milk proteins.  
 
Bega will release its half year report on February 21.  
 
Good news for Bega’s shareholders as well -  
the company's share price has rallied since late January, pushing well past the $2 barrier, closing yesterday at $2.34, just a cent below the all time high reached last week.  
 
Source: Dairy Globe

 
12-Feb-2013

Dairy policy solution talks

DAN Tehan says he’s been working with the different dairy industry groups to devise a list of policy solutions for the current industry crisis.  
The Victorian Liberal MP said while there's no one silver bullet, there are some immediate steps that could be taken to look at costs of production.  
 
“For example, the abolition of the carbon tax would see farm gate milk prices increase by half a cent per litre, based on Murray Goulburn’s figures," Mr Tehan said.  
 
“The carbon tax is costing Murray Goulburn $14 million per annum and other milk and dairy processors are understood to be paying similar amounts.  
 
“There’s a real need to put serious downward pressure on the high Australian dollar and the best way to do that is to restrain government spending so the reserve bank can continue to lower interest rates.  
 
“Out interest rates are still high compared to interest rates overseas and that’s what’s leading to the high dollar; people are still investing in Australia to take advantage of our high interest rates.  
 
“In comparison, the EU and Japan have interest rates at one per cent or less.”  
 
Mr Tehan said another immediate step to relieve fiscal pressure on dairy farmers was to introduce greater work place flexibility.  
 
He said current work-place regulations meant dairy farmers had to only employ workers for a minimum of three hours per milking but most of the farms only needed that labour for an hour and a half.  
 
“This needs to be fixed," he said.  
 
“It has to be consistent with other work place reforms which allow flexibility for high school children to work after school.  
 
“Changes were made in the retail industry to let country kids work 1.5 hours instead of three hours.  
 
“That would mean dairy farmers wouldn’t have to pay for six hours of labour per day, for milking in the morning and afternoon, and instead they could pay for three hours which would help reduce some of their cost pressures.”  
 
Mr Tehan said those three areas would feature high on a list of policy demands to be presented to federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig and his Coalition Shadow John Cobb in the next week or two, along with other industry propositions including demands for financial assistance.  
 
He said he would also be pushing Mr Cobb to convene a national meeting between banks, to follow the example set by Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh in convening a similar meeting at State level.  
 
“It’s a national dairy industry crisis and so we’re pushing for government to sit down with the industry and work out how it can ensure the long term viability of the sector,” he said.  
 
“To have the farm groups uniting, at this time, is a very good start.  
 
“The immediate action is to ensure that those dairy farmers who are doing it really tough, can get some immediate financial relief.”  
 
Source : Queensland Country Life

 
12-Feb-2013

Qld dairies in crisis: Trus

FEDERAL Nationals Leader Warren Truss says Queensland dairy farmers will be forced to reconsider their futures after sustaining serious damage in the recent floods and in light of the ongoing impacts from the supermarket giants selling home branded milk for $1 a litre.  
Mr Truss visited some of the state’s worst affected areas last week around Bundaberg and Gladstone.  
 
He inspected the recent flood damage while visiting farmers and rural communities along with other National Party MPs and federal Shadow Agriculture Minister John Cobb.  
 
Mr Truss said it was “heartbreaking” to see significant flood damage to citrus orchards where most of the trees were either completely wiped out or laying flat on their side with no hope of recovery.  
 
He said there would be short-term concerns with food supplies and fruit quality.  
 
But in the longer term there would also be large financial losses due to lost production and the high costs of replanting damaged orchards that may take seven to eight years to fully recover.  
 
Mr Truss said the floods had also impacted on summer grain crops that were already suffering from heat stress; cane production in the state’s southern farming regions; livestock that had been washed away, although some had been recovered; and damaged feedstock, fencing and farm infrastructure.  
 
But the impacts on the dairy industry were his biggest concern, with only a relatively small number of dairy farmers remaining in areas like Gladstone and Gympie.  
 
“I visited one dairy farm last week where the water had completely covered the dairy and everything was smashed,” he said.  
 
“There was no electricity to milk the cows for several days and we heard reports that some farmers had lost their whole herd, although some had been recovered but were no longer in peak condition and couldn’t be milked for several days.  
 
“There was no power for cooling the milk or any capacity for the milk trucks to even get into the farms.  
 
“It’s very likely that some dairy farmers won’t survive this flood event, in particular with concerns about $1 a litre milk and the industry’s future viability.  
 
“A significant number of dairy farmers have already left the industry in recent times.  
 
“But this flood will be very bad news for other farmers who will have to take into consideration whether they can continue and if it’s worth starting again.”  
 
Mr Truss said the primary concern for dairy farmers and others was getting back on their feet after the floods and cleaning up the damage.  
 
But in time, he said, they would eventually be seeking greater government assistance to aid the recovery effort.  
 
“The future of their industry is certainly hanging over their heads,” he said.  
 
“There’s certainly a real pessimism overhanging the dairy industry that’s essentially being driven by the knowledge that Coles aren’t going to give up on $1/L milk.  
 
“And as they get increased market share, because of their lower prices, the higher priced milk is being squeezed out of the market - but they are the prices that dairy farmers need to be able to survive.  
 
“There’s no doubt at all that this $1/L milk price is having a crushing impact on the entire dairy industry in Australia, but particularly in states like NSW, Queensland and WA and that pressure is now flowing through to Victoria.”  
 
Mr Truss stopped short of saying Coles and Woolworths needed to immediately end the retail marketing campaign that’s seen home branded milk priced at $1/L for the past two years.  
 
He said the big retail supermarkets needed to be aware of the fact that if they continued, their competition for market share would eventually make agricultural production in Australia “un-economic”.  
 
He also rejected arguments put forward by Coles that the milk price war wasn’t impacting negatively on dairy farmers and had been good for milk processors and consumers.  
 
Coles also said that in the past 12 months, farm gate returns had come under pressure because of a range of factors, including slower global demand, a high dollar and rising input costs and that none of those factors had anything to do with the retail price of milk.  
 
“Well if they (Coles) say $1/L milk is having no impact on dairy farmers, then perhaps they should go and talk to some dairy farmers, because it’s clearly having a massive impact,” Mr Truss said.  
 
Source: Queensland Country Life

 
12-Feb-2013

'From cows to customers'

COLES has released a new YouTube video explaining “the facts” about how the supermarket giant sources and sells its milk products.  
Coles says the new video aims to show what measures the company has taken to ensure its $1 a litre home branded milk products were funded internally, and not by dairy farmers directly.  
 
The video is titled, “From cow to Coles to customers; the facts about Australian milk”, and features images of a hand drawing different pictures along with a voice-over to explain the issue.  
 
The move comes in response to ongoing criticism of the company, and rival supermarket giant Woolworths, for selling home branded milk at $1/L during the past two years.  
 
Dairy industry groups and federal politicians have repeatedly warned the retail milk pricing strategy is “unsustainable” and has contributed to numerous dairy farmers going broke in recent times, in particular in Queensland.  
 
But Coles has strongly rejected those accusations, saying other factors are contributing to issues with the industry’s ongoing viability, including the high Australian dollar, high input costs and falling global milk markets.  
 
“Did you know that only 25 per cent of milk produced by Australian dairy farmers becomes Australian drinking milk?” the video asks.  
 
“The rest is exported overseas or used by dairy processors to make cheese, yoghurt and other dairy products.  
 
“And just 4pc of all the milk produced in Australia becomes the Coles brand milk you see on our shelves.  
 
“The price the processor pays the farmer is known as the farmgate price and it’s the same price, regardless of whether the drinking milk becomes a branded or private label product.  
 
“Lower prices and more choice means customers are buying more milk and production of Australian milk has grown for the first time in 10 years.  
 
“More Australian customers buying more Australian milk, means more production for the Australian dairy industry.  
 
“That’s the reality of lower milk prices at Coles.”  
 
A Coles spokesperson said the video was an accurate description of milk production and pricing at a national level.  
 
The spokesperson said the video wasn’t an attempt to put corporate spin on the issue and was “a response to the questions we frequently get from customers”.  
 
“Coles has continued to grow because we have offered customers what they want but we have also done the right thing by suppliers.”  
 
However, criticism of the retail strategy shows little sign of subsiding.  
 
Earlier this week, Nationals Leader Warren Truss said Qld dairy farmers would need to reconsider their futures after sustaining serious damage in the recent floods and with the supermarket giants continuing to sell milk at $1/L.  
 
“A significant number of dairy farmers have already left the industry in recent times,” he said.  
 
“But this flood will be very bad news for other farmers who will have to take into consideration whether they can continue and if it’s worth starting again, with $1 milk."  
 
Mr Truss said if Coles thought $1/L milk is having no impact on dairy farmers, “then perhaps they should go and talk to some dairy farmers, because it’s clearly having a massive impact”.  
 
Source: Farm online

 
11-Feb-2013

Producers forced to empty vats

DAIRY producers in the Monto region had no choice in the recent floods but to empty milk vats, and watch thousands of litres of milk, hard work and profits simply wash away.  
Steve Pailthorpe milks about 70 cows, mostly Ayrshires, at Bancroft, about 30km east of Monto.  
 
After floods cut off milk tanker access, he was forced to dump 3000 litres of milk.  
 
His wife Helen Goody said the milk tanker usually travelled to Monto from Rockhampton every second day.  
 
"The first lot of milk we let out was on Australia Day itself, and the second lot was the following Monday afternoon," Ms Goody said.  
 
"Up until then, that had been four days worth, or eight milkings. Milk can be kept in the vat for up to three days, or six milkings, if the vat is big enough."  
 
Tankers eventually gained access to several regional producers on Wednesday, January 30.  
 
Mr Pailthorpe's parents, Ross and Barb, bought the dairy in 1980, and had never seen flood waters so high. Neither had they let milk out before.  
 
The Pailthorpes received 460mm of rain, causing Walkers Creek and Splinter Creek to flood.  
 
Ms Goody said they were lucky to still be able to milk due to generators.  
 
"There are plenty of other people who have been affected, and some of those have had to miss milkings," she said.  
 
"We feel for the ones that have lost cattle and their dairies. At least we still have our homes, family, dairy and all our animals."  
 
Leesa Ison and partner Alan Little, and parents Max and Sue Ison, were forced to let out 13,000 litres from their Black and Gold Dairy, 28km south of Monto.  
 
They milk 130 cows, and Ms Ison said the only thing they can do is to try and keep going.  
 
"The hard thing is we weren't even over the last floods, and then we get this," Ms Ison said.  
 
"The big issue for us though is tying to feed our cows. So many of the farms we buy hay and silage from have been affected, and it's going to be a long time before we can buy feed off them."  
 
Source: Qld Country Life

 
10-Feb-2013

IT NEVER RAINS

But it pours. That’s the old saying, and it’s never been more true than in Australia.  
While parts of the country are fighting devastating bush fires which have destroyed farm infrastructure and stock, a summer storm brought massive rains and flooding to some of the most productive farming areas in the country.  
 
Dairy farmers already struggling with falling farmgate prices and rising input costs have faced inundation on the farm, and blocked roads preventing tankers picking up the milk. Dumping milk is the last thing any farmer wants to do – watching their income disappear down the drain. It’s a heartbreaking course of action to have to take.  
 
And it won’t be helping the processing companies either – the lengths many companies go to to try and collect milk in these circumstances shows how important the milk supply is to them. After a recent storm in New Zealand, which washed out a bridge, Westland Milk sent tankers on a round trip that almost circumnavigated the South Island in an attempt to pick up the milk.  
Not only do they need the milk to keep product coming through, but they need to keep their suppliers – no-one wins when a dairy farmer leaves the industry.  
 
The plight of farmers in Australia who have been affected by natural disasters in recent weeks has grabbed headlines around the world, but the media is already beginning to move on to the next story.  
 
Meanwhile farmers, processors and everyone else in the supply chain will continue to battle on to bring consumers the product they demand.  
 
Source: Dairy Week

 
10-Feb-2013

Heat welcome on farms in the south

Otago and Southland farmers have welcomed a month of hot fine weather after so much rain and cold conditions earlier this summer.  
Southland Federated Farmer’s meat and wool section chairman Andrew Morrison, who farms in the Waikaka Valley, said his real concern was for farmers facing very dry conditions in the North Island.  
 
“In Southland and South Otago where we farm, we’ve had good moisture over the holiday period and some good heat producing good grass. Stock is really enjoying the heat after so many days with rain on their backs,” he said.  
 
While he was happy with lamb growth, Mr Morrison said because of the way the schedule had dropped, he had decided to carry lambs through to heavier weights for a better return.  
 
“Once you’ve got lambs on the ground and the schedule is sitting where it is, the only other option you’ve got is to put weight on your animals,” he said.  
 
At the moment at least farmers in Otago and Southland had enough grass to hold on to stock and were not forced to sell on a low schedule.  
 
“With the schedule where it is, I really feel for those people who have to sell on the store market.”  
 
Mr Morrison said he did not think anyone was happy with current prices, which were a reflection of three factors - the high New Zealand dollar, competition from Australia and markets still heavily impacted by the global recession.  
 
He said unless meat companies could maintain a sustainable meat schedule, they would risk seriously reducing stock numbers next year and have less stock to process in future.  
 
North Otago is another region counting its blessings for another excellent season, according to North Otago Federated Farmers’ president Richard Strowger.  
 
“We’ve had three summers in a row where there’s been plenty of moisture, which is quite incredible really,” Mr Strowger said.  
 
He said he understood some of the larger stations had held on-farm store lamb sales and fetched pretty reasonable prices.  
 
“The majority of sheep farms in North Otago are probably going to be able to finish all their stock this year and wont have to sell stores at all,” he said.  
 
Meanwhile, PGG Wrightson’s Otago livestock manager Chris Swale told Straight Furrow demand for store lambs in Otago remained strong because of the amount of feed available.  
 
He said prices at on-farm store lamb sales ranged from $68 to $74 a head.  
 
“For the last three weeks we’ve been selling on a grass market,” he said. Prices were more affordable for a wider range of buyers and some farmers were replacing stock that had already been processed.  
 
“It’s not a great outlay for store stock this year at $50 to $70 a head as opposed to $90 to $120 last year,” Mr Swale said. “It’s bought the regular store lamb buyers back into the market this year.”  
 
With the amount of feed around and breeding ewe fairs starting around the region last week, he said it was a good opportunity for farmers to cull older ewes and replace them with younger stock at heavily discounted prices compared to last season.  
 
Source: Straight Furrow

 
10-Feb-2013

Cheap milk cuts bottom line

BRYMAROO dairy farmer Grant Wieck says his biggest concern is the downward pressure on milk price throughout the supply chain.  
Mr Wieck, together with parent’s Noel and Fay, and wife Kylie, currently milk over 300 Illawarra’s on his mixed operation grain and dairy property, Chelmonte, said $1/litre milk is an unsustainable price.  
 
“It’s a frightening concern as to the long term impact and the fact that allocation volumes and prices for tier two milk are governed by market practices,” he said.  
 
“At the end of the day it all comes back to the milk price as our input costs are ever increasing.  
 
“Selling as much as 3000 litres of tier two milk daily at 16 cents a litre for the previous two quarters was downright disgusting.  
 
“What sort of confidence can we have that our milk prices are going to be sustainable long term?”  
 
Mr Wieck said dealings between processors and supermarkets dictates what they are paid for.  
 
He said it was difficult to suggest the nature of the impact on his business because he operates on annual or biannual contracts with the Dairy Farmers Milk Cooperative, who supplies beverage and food company, Lion.  
 
“One has to wonder what dealings are done between processors or the supermarkets that either one of them hasn’t gone belly-up on the dollar a litre arrangement.”  
 
Mr Wieck has a challenge for consumers: to try drinking UHT milk for a month.  
 
“Ask themselves if they could do that for the rest of their lives, because that’s what they might end up doing.”  
 
Despite industry pressures his family has made a significant capital investment in a free stall barn, which includes automated robotic milking.  
 
The decision was not taken lightly however it was the only way the family could perceive themselves to be milking cows at that kind of scale, long term.  
 
“We’ve gone down that path to reduce our labour requirements, reclaim some quality of life and provide a comfortable environment for the cows to be comfortably housed and milked in an ever increasingly erratic and variable climate,” Mr Wieck said.  
 
“I have to be somewhat positive over the long term that the forces that be, may come to their senses as far as realistic prices and conditions are concerned so that we have local, fresh milk in the market.”  
 
Source: Qld Country Life

 
10-Feb-2013

United, now what?

THE financial plight of Victoria's dairy farmers took a front seat this week when three lobby groups decided to unite in a bid to increase pressure on State and federal government.  
As the result of meeting in Warrnambool last Thursday, Farmer Power – which was founded just six weeks ago to highlight and attempt to ease the problems facing the State's dairy producers – announced its resolution to work with the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) and United Dairy Farmers of Victoria (UDV) to lobby government.  
 
It is a big reversal from the situation last month, when Farmer Power organisers said the State's farming lobby groups had failed to take any action on what they described as a "crisis" situation.  
 
However, co-organiser Chris Gleeson said it was time to put the needs of farmers first, and collaborating with the two groups meant Farmer Power could fast-track its goals.  
 
"At the end of the day, there are dairy farmers out there who are hurting and need immediate financial assistance," Mr Gleeson said.  
 
A dismal combination of poor farmgate prices, rising costs and a high Australian dollar had seen producers pushed to the brink, he said.  
 
Mr Gleeson was pleased to reveal the meeting had led to an opportunity to talk with Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig later this month, when organisers would outline their demands, including for assistance.  
 
"This is ultimately what we want: to put our case to the Federal Government," he said.  
 
"It will then be up to them to decide if they want the industry to survive."  
 
UDV deputy president Ron Paynter said the result was a good one.  
 
"We don't want to see multiple farming organisations," he said.  
 
"We are happy to work with them to give them access to politicians to get their message across."  
 
Mr Paynter said the VFF and UDV had already been working hard to relay dairy farmers' struggles to the government but the voice of Farmer Power might add another level of pressure.  
 
"This is an issue we've been working hard on but this might be that extra push to get politicians to agree to industry's demands," he said.  
 
Meanwhile, news of the lobby group's co-operation comes as food entrepreneurs, big-name activists and politicians weigh in publicly on the dairy crisis.  
 
While the Farmer Power movement was instigated to address the industry's financial troubles, it now appears to have extended to food security.  
 
Entrepreneur Dick Smith, Ausbuy chief executive officer executive Lynne Wilkinson and Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce have all signed on to address Farmer Power's inaugural crisis rally to be held in northern Victoria on February 13.  
 
 
© STOCKLAND

 
7-Feb-2013

Searching for dairy solutions

ROSALIE Plains dairy farmers Scott and Victoria Menkins, Grand Dairies, are struggling to operate their business after losing up to a third of their milk production potential.  
"We've been here (Grand Dairies) for 10 years and the allocation level at the moment is at 6500L which is 2000L below what we're currently able to supply," Mr Menkins said.  
 
"We're hearing that there is currently a shortfall in the Queensland milk supply but we're waiting for another dairy to shut before our allocation is increased. It just doesn't make sense."  
 
New pricing and recent deductions in the milk allocation levels have forced the couple to look at replacing the monetary loss by selling their replacement heifers to international buyers in Indonesia.  
 
"We've invested so much time and money into this business - we can't afford to shut it down."  
 
Grand Dairies runs on a total mixed ration and Scott says that along with on-farm improvements, increasing feed costs are adding to the burden.  
 
"At this point, there's nothing encouraging us to continue."  
 
 
© QCL

 

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Article Index

Dairy group worried about Woolworths plan to buy milk direct from farmers

Farmers sceptical about rise in Coles WA milk price

Bega takes bigger slice of dairy

Nutrient trials boost milk

North-west Victorian dairy farmers expect to survive

Melbourne authorities will sell water to Goulburn valley irrigators

Farmers meet Coles in a cowshed

Dairy decline in South Australia's mid-north

Low prices, floods hit dair

Flood woes force milk 'down the drain

Dairy forum to hear milk pricing worries

Dairy farmers hope for more rain

Dairy industry urges more support

School milk scheme mooted to lift dairy industry

Former Murray Goulburn chair attacks new dairy lobby group

Drought hitting NZ milk flows

Bega Cheese produces strong FY result

Milk payments in debate at UDV –

Floods, heat cut intake –

Searching for dairy solutions

Bega investing in cheese, proteins

Dairy policy solution talks

Qld dairies in crisis: Trus

'From cows to customers'

Producers forced to empty vats

IT NEVER RAINS

Heat welcome on farms in the south

Cheap milk cuts bottom line

United, now what?

Searching for dairy solutions

Fonterra dairy auction prices rise again

Farmer Power and UDV unite

New dairy vaccine targets rotavirus

Dairy industry thinning as export dollar milks supply

THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE RIDICULOUS

Milk price prompts pasture rethink

Milk war turns sour

Farm tractor protest

Cheap milk goes express

Action on dairy crisis

Dairy protest airs milk price worries

Dairy contract fears quelled

Schools clamour for milk scheme

Schools clamour for milk scheme

Butter for sale on GDT

Grocery chains launch fresh wave of price cuts

Coles Express joins milk price war

Victorian dairy farmers hold crisis meeting

Climbing prices picked to help farmers

How much is heat stress costing

Coles continues $1 milk campaign

IDW moves with times

China tariff cuts' cautious welcome

No leeway on $1/L milk

Milk year starts on high

Farmgate price rise

Crossing over to success

The Hilton Hotel for poddy calves

A good deal for dairy?

Positive outlook for milk production

Report slams milk prices

Chobani factory to serve as ‘dairy export hub’ into Asia

Fonterra lifts 2013 forecast payout

Fonterra auction prices drop

Dairy bounces back: NAB

MG slams Coles’ cheese stance

Australia dairy exports up 3.2%

Down, down, cow prices are down

Coles led milk discounting 'devastating Qld dairy industry'

NZ milk production well ahead in the early spring

National milk sales down 2.6% in Sept

Dairy firm promises South Gippsland boost

NZ infant powder rejected

Fonterra increases Chinese investment

FONTERRA has extended a deal with milk suppliers in Australia.

Clarity on raw milk regs

Lion doubles Morwell plant capacity

Post-farmgate confidence up: NAB

Fonterra revises full-year price

Fighting buffel grass degeneration

Organic butter to appear

Lion scraps Tier 2 payments from February

It's a gamble on milk

Lion praised for milk price rise

Australia produces more cheddar, butter

Dairy group in profit warning

Lion increases Tier 2 milk prices for NSW & SEQ

Lion promises pay rise for dairy farmers

Fonterra shares in hot demand, despite unknowns

DAIRY MARKET REVIEW

A2 Corporation appoints China distributor

Is Facebook the future of farming?

Indians eye NSW dairy project

Kirin dairy business no longer a curdling story

Dairy farmer awarded NFF's highest honour

Tassie’s milk factory focus

Register for farm land

VOLATILE world markets, the high Australia dollar?

Kirin profits sent reeling by discount milk prices

Red tape may sour Chinese milk deal

WCBF slashes expected profit

Fonterra prospectus due in weeks

New code of practice isn't enough to satisfy UK dairy farmers

Dairy feeding practices food for thought

Push for Dairy Connect

Rich food for thought on Fonterra

Irrigating with fertiliser good for the environment

NSW dairy industry closer to getting a new peak body

Australian dairy output up in 2012

Dairy warns on cost of MDB plan

Tight supply lifts milk price rise hopes

Farmers fired up over Fonterra

Brownes gives a little more cream to farmers

Milk sales up 2% in August

ADF wants compulsory code of conduct

Prices snap four straight gains

Emerging markets lift casein demand

Coles adds healthy eating value range

Dairy slide not a major hiccup

Allergy free milk welcomed by farmers but slammed by anti-GM campaigners

Allergy-free milk on the way

Fonterra payout down 19%

Farmers come forward with sorry tales

Fonterra dairy plant closure sparks country community concern

Australian cattle herd biggest in 30 years and still growing

China seeking stake in dairy

Kids to celebrate world milk day

Seal-off mastitis

DAIRY MARKET REVIEW

Dairy Prices rise

Jersey takes supreme cow gong

Fonterra outlines new model

Dairy energy assessments beginning

WA dairy farmers say buy local

Coles to meet dairy farmers

Lion's price hurts

Yoghurt's big move down under

Dairy Market Reveiw

Greens move to toughen Australian food labelling

Fonterra global prices rise

NZ dairy output to slow: Rabo

A2 Corp backs growth with new facility

MG Steps Up

Fonterra andWestland trim 2012/13 forecast payouts

Milk prices soften with global supply on the rise

Tensions rise over Dairy Connect

ADF forfeits link to SA dairy farmers

Raw milk lapping it up

Mixed news for farmers under Europe carbon deal

NSW dairy farmer starts culling, fearing fall in milk prices

Fonterra’s farmgate milk price review released

KEEPING VIGILANT TO KEEP SAFE

DAIRY MARKET REVIEW

Analyst plays down record Fonterra dairy exports

Profit talk music to dairy ears

Fonterra's record end-of-season export quarter

NFF backs ADF changes

Lion's price hurts

NFF backs ADF changes

Greens move to toughen Australian food labelling

Dairy farmers man the barricades

Dairy show kicks off

Fonterra auction prices rise

Coles 'farmer friendly': McLeod

Ag's youth excited for the show

Raw milk for sale - but don't try to drink it

QDO backs Coles dairy protest

QDO backs Coles dairy protest

Muller and Robert Wiseman Dairies agree milk price rise

Farmgate milk set for modest gains

Permeate lift to milk demand

Paranoia permeates milk marketing

China’s Bright Dairy shares slide 3% after

Industry pans permeate pretence

Dairy price fury builds

Tassie farm milks big rewards

Everyone getting behind dairying

Dairy anger froths at Ag Show

Norco boss says milk price still not sustainable for farmers

Fonterra prices rise

Coles cops farmer Facebook fury

Fonterra prices rise

Aussie dairy cows no longer worth milking

Dairy farmers want immediate change

Facebook cry from down on the farm goes viral on Coles

Drought tipped to lift NZ prices

Coles doesn't respond to 73 000+ consumers concerned about milk price wars

Dairy reconnects with new peak body

Domestic premium urged for SA farms

Dairy factories grow, but what about farms?

Coles and Woolworths intend to go ‘permeate free'

Commodities price bubble could pop

Fonterra price-setting key to purchase

Tasmanians take top dairy award

Anger permeates dairy industry amid fear of 'natural' additive

Dairy farmers bracing for a difficult year

Bega, Warrnambool merger has merit

Cheese in new round of deep discounts

Cheese deal spurs WCB expansion

More MG jobs go

Parts of dairy industry annoyed by anti-permeate push

Fonterra slips down global list

Farmers brace for carbon tax impact

Prison dairy farm shuts the gate

Farm-gate price a win for neighbour

Fonterra out to cream opposition

Farmers want Coles price rise nationwide

World prices to lift next year

Dehydration kills calves, not scours

Lion plays hardball with northern states

Fonterra price-setting key to purchase

Opening milk prices heading down

Dairy looks to tackle future challenges

Milk price war blamed for 'devalued' dairy industry

Harvey Fresh to pass on milk increase to farmers

Milk co-op throws down price gauntlet

Some WA dairy farmers to get more of Lion's share

Coles to pay more for milk

Dairy processors say no to permeate

Additive a casualty of dairy price war

Milk spat continues

Dairy forage research at Gatton

ADF puts member under microscope

Coles in winter milk price talks

Coles in winter milk price talks

Lion confirms it's cutting milk contracts

CowBank enables dairy dream

Seachange leads to champion cheese

Flood damage being assessed on Gippsland farms

Riverina dairy farmers fear price cuts

Farmers call on banks to pass on rate cuts

Fonterra seeks more milk

More Milk for Less

Fonterra milk prices drying up in New Zealand

Lower milk returns cut prices for customers

Dairies fear milking from carbon tax

Dairyfarmers confident despite opening woes

$1m for dairy energy assessments

Milk prices to dip as production rises

Survey reveals milk price war hurting farm confidence

Coles in yoghurt deal

Too much milk points to dairy price fall

Milk market win

Dairy company slashes jobs

Supply storm awaits dairy farmers

Wesfarmers says it is open to milk talks

Dairy farmers prepare to fight back over prices

Dairy farmers to vote on level of research funding

UDP buys Lion’s Murray River cheese plants

Fresh milk being flown to China

ACCC extends collective bargaining rights to dairy

Dairy dissatisfaction

Judd to leave ADF, return to dairy farm

Environmental mastitis increasing

Fonterra finishes with a flourish

Plan ahead for dairy fertility: InCalf

Dairy industry says carbon tax will cut farm milk prices

Strong opening prices for 2011/12 – Warrnambool

Indian company buys Hastings Valley Dairy

Supermarket price war changes dairy sales patterns

Bega-Tatura opens at $4.82/kg

Wesfarmers asked to call meeting to explain milk price cuts

New cow pregnancy test will be less messy

Buyers remain loyal to gourmet milk

Young dairy networks awarded funding

NFF and Treasurer at odds over supermarket milk discounts

Bega Cheese aims to stay local after ASX float

Woolworths boss says milk price drop is not sustainable

Milk war a plus for niche player

More time needed on milk: Senate

Farmers call for milk code of conduct

Dairy farmers assess impact of reduced milk contracts

Victorian farmers likely to survive the milk price war

Coles' grilling begins

Dairy's plea

Qld dairy industry under siege

Milk inquiry rescheduled

Fonterra pays more for milk

Tasmania the winner, Victoria the loser, in National Foods cheese review

Queensland dairy farmers: “This is the first hit”

Dairy industry toll

Dairy company says supermarket price war will cut returns to farmers

Bega Cheese to list on stock exchange

Dairy cow sales booming

Woolworths regrets milk price war

COLES FINALLY STARTS TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR HURTING DAIRY FARMERS

Coles pays more to WA dairy farmers

Dairy farmers make hay after the rain falls

National Foods suppliers fear milk price cut

Milk supplier losing the price war

Cow shortage hampering dairy recovery

Coles rejects accusations of unfair milk pricing

Dairy farmers appeal to Wesfarmers shareholders over milk price cuts

Milk price anger

Farmer hopes milk price cut will boost consumption

Independent grocers say there's no choice but to lower milk prices

Milk price war escalates

Cows giving less milk after floods

Supermarkets asked to explain milk price cut

Dairy price boost

Victorian livestock moved as floodwaters rise

Vets on stand-by as flood disease risk grows

Flood impact on Qld industry

Farmers happy as Bega Cheese posts healthy profit

Antibiotics cause resistance…

Bega Cheese takes a slice of Warrnambool plant

MDB plan guide cuts deep into irrigation volumes

Bega “not yet” to share float

NZX launches trade in dairy futures

Auction prices ease for WMP

SA irrigators shocked by extent of cuts

Manning Valley farmers defect to Parmalat

Warrnambool Cheese & Butter reports recovery

Dairying area now able to drink the milk

Say cheese! Fonterra expands capacity of factories

Dairy farmers cautiously optimistic about prices

October launch for WMP futures contract

Dairy industry cheesed off by drop in demand

Queensland dairy weighs in on new government

2009/10 production was down 3.9%

Grain price rise hits stock feed

Grain prices surging

Fonterra closes with a lift

Boost for Victorian Dairy industry

Fonterra to review payout forecast

Warrnambool renews National Foods cheese tie-up

Dairy futures market slumps

Powering the world - with butter

Lower milk payments from Dairy Farmers

Parmalat seeks national footprint

Fonterra Shareholders Vote In Favour Of Share Trading Among Farmers

Murray Goulburn predicts rising milk price

Fonterra auctions move to twice monthly

Fonterra sees milk powder continue slide

Murray-Goulburn abandons WCB takeover

Dairy industry backs changes to Woolworths milk contracts

Fonterra announces early milk price rise

ACCC raises concerns over Murray Goulburn's WCB takeover

Qld dairy farmers snubbed by Nat Foods

Murray Goulburn further increases WCB stake

Fonterra sees "stability" in dairy prices

Co-op simplifies milk payments

WCB outlines opposition to Murray Goulburn approach

Dairy farmers happily mop up, as hail hits

Dairy bolstered by global recovery

WCB appoints new CEO

WCB rejects second bid from Murray Goulburn

Murray Goulburn 'disappointed' by failed takeover bid for WCB

WCB reports "pleasing" H1 figures

Murray Goulburn makes fresh bid for WCB

Australian dairy industry better off than a year ago

Fonterra's fourth milk price increase for 2009/10

Dairy's cautious optimism

Dairy farmers should be cautiously optimistic, says Dairy Australia

Murray Goulburn lifts milk prices again

Global probiotic dairy market will be worth US$24 billion by 2014, says market researcher

US dairy recovering faster than expected

Sales on Fonterra's trading platform top $1 billion

Tassie farmers sign contracts with National Foods

Supply and demand once again the dairy driver

Fonterra sees minor correction in dairy prices

United states dairy farmers get additional $300 million in subsidies

Fonterra: Third milk price increase in 2009-2010

Dairy demand on the rise: Fonterra

US dairy forecast removes need for export subsidies

Dairy farmers turn to the internet for cow-ordination

Warrnambool Cheese and Butter gets takeover approach

Fonterra reports continued momentum in dairy market

Fonterra chair says dairy price future uncertain

Murray Goulburn content with profit drop

End of European dairy export subsidies welcomed by Australian government

Europe ends its dairy export subsidies

US dairy prices on the rise

Fonterra increases payout as confidence in dairy market grows

Dairy Australia announces new MD

Milk prices on the move: Fonterra

Dairy prices shooting back up

Barry Irvin honoured with business award

Better prices on the way for dairy farmers

Murray-Goulburn lifts farmgate milk prices

Reforms to boost dairy sector: Burke

How the emissions trading system works

Irish Dairy Farmer take to the streets

Global dairy prices breaking out of doldrums

Dairy Australia sees improving signs after tumultuous year

Dairy prices hit the bottom

Senators quiz National Foods about milk prices

Prices up at Fonterra's milk powder auction

Tasmanian dairy farmers rally outside Senate enquiry

Another Dairy Cull in the US

Big boost for irrigators in Victoria and SA

Dairy prices begin to recover

Bega Cheese boss to face antagonistic dairy leaders

Pork goes pink to show local production

US tries to block import of Australian milk solids

US dairy subsidies expected to rise further

Senate to probe low farm gate milk prices

Europe subsidy push could threaten dairy recovery

Fonterra abandons float plans

At last - A milk price rise for farmers

Australian Dairy Industry On Path To Recovery

Recent Whole Milk Powder Auction Price Jump a One Off?

Why Aussie milk should sell well in Taiwan

Aussies Increase Private Label Spending

Why farmgate milk price has dropped significantly?

Burgess steps down as head of Australian Dairy Farmers

Return of El Nio to Australia Looking Likely

Global Market Overview

Warrnambool Cheese and Butter regains most of their lost supply

Milk Price Signals Turn Positive: Fonterra

Wes Judd Replaces Alan Burgess as Head of ADF

Kraft Q2 Profit Up, Raises Full-Yr View

US Delivers Relief for Struggling Dairy Producers

US Increases Dairy Subsidies

Burra expanding in gloom ... ready for boom

Supermarkets pass on lower milk prices

Farm confidence up: Westpac

Dairy industry urges quick clean-up after Bega ag office blaze

Coalition demands exclusion of agriculture from emissions trading scheme

Government Seeks Better Ways of Buying Water

Fonterra to keep Wagga factory

Global Market Overview

Tatura Milk First to Announce New Season Price

Maxum Achieves Success as Top of BRW Fast 100

Winners Take Business to the Max