Surging fodder prices are putting pressure on dairy farmers across the Mackay region as dry seasonal conditions continue to impact feed and water supply.
According to Dairy Australia, the price of hay has increased by 29 per cent in the Atherton Tablelands and by 31 per cent in the Darling Downs regions across the past 12 months.
Eungella dairy farmer Peter Woodlands said it’s been a dry winter and every farm will be feeling the effects of the drought and the extra demand for feed, particularly grain.
“So far for us it’s been a frosty dry sort of a winter but we’re nowhere near affected as the western regions but obviously the grain usage out there is forcing the product up and that’s causing it to be shorter and shorter so all sort of stock feeds are disappearing,” Mr Woodlands said.
He believes that the dry weather has been a huge influence in the price rises.
“There is always extra demand during drier weather because of the higher costs and I think every dairy farm is doing it tough at the moment,” he said.
“Dairy farms will feed grain as a supplementary feed and the drier it is the higher your costs will be but I think the shortage of grain has impacted us because of the extra demand.”
Dairy Australia managing director Dr David Nation confirmed some regions were seeing a high demand for fodder, which was consequentially causing a feed shortage across eastern Australia.
“We recognise that a feed shortage is the last thing the industry needs after a difficult few years, but we feel confident in the strength of the dairy community, and the ability to draw on our experience in managing feed shortages and challenging operating environments,” he said.
Dr Nation urged farmers to reach out for resources available to them, including through Regional Development Programs.
Source: Daily Mercury