Farmers milk at a loss
March 5, 2010
The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics (ABARE) has now officially confirmed what we all know about the dairy industry.
Dr Sharman Stone, Federal Member for Murray, said the annual report shows the average dairy farmer has forecast a loss of $44,000.
"The report also indicates farm debt at an average of 20% over this period and there has been a steep decline in the rate of return for farmers from 3.6% in 2007-2008 to a forecasted 0.4% in 2009-2010."
"Our dairy farmers are very efficient but have suffered considerably through the extraordinary pressures of low dairy prices, 8 years of drought and the high value of the dollar.
"The Brumby Labor State Government and Federal Minister for Water Penny Wong’s policies have taken our water security. Farmers pay full price for water not received, only to watch the Government send it down the pipeline to flush the toilets of Melbourne.
"The Rudd Labor Government is also haphazardly buying water from desperate irrigators who have little option but to sell.
"Although local farmers will receive Exceptional Circumstances payments for one more year, the Government has also announced its intention to can the interest rate part of the program.
"We have been telling the Rudd Labor Government for many years that local farmers need more support if they are to continue to provide the nation with dairy produce.
"The Rudd Government must be the only Government who expects their dairy farmers to work for free each day and go into arrears to provide food for the nation," Dr Stone said.
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