Opportunities still exist in dairy

Dairy industry still has opportunities despite hardships


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Westpac Victoria and Tasmania regional general manager Roddy Brown said the mood in the dairy industry wasn't as negative as people may have thought.

Westpac Victoria and Tasmania regional general manager Roddy Brown said the mood in the dairy industry wasn't as negative as people may have thought.

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An industry banker said there were still opportunities in dairy despite current hardships.

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There are still opportunities in the dairy industry despite current hardships, according to Westpac Victoria and Tasmania regional general manager Roddy Brown.

Mr Brown, who is currently in Allansford, near Warrnambool, for the Sungold Field Days, said dairy farmers were a "resilient bunch", and would bounce back from recent tough times.

"A lot of them are already talking about what to do next in terms of maybe expanding or increasing herd numbers," he said.

But he acknowledged that some dairy farmers had done it so tough that they were getting out of the industry.

"Quite a few transactions have occurred in recent times, but a lot of those have been smaller dairy farms," he said.

He said it was "hard to know" what impact this would have to the industry, but in the short-term it would be good for competition in the South-West.

"But it's very important to keep our factories operating at maximum capacity," he said.

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Some purchasers of these dairy farms have been other dairy farmers looking for extra land, he said.

"I think people are now at the point where they've realised dairy has a true cycle, full of ups and downs," he said.

"I'm finding much more are focused on the three to five-year scenario; they seem to be more strategic."

With processors announcing milk price step-ups in recent weeks, he said this was an opportunity for farmers to potentially look at paying back debt and looking to new opportunities.

"That's not taking away the fact that it's been a really tough few years, it's been tricky for a lot of people, but hopefully we've got some good years ahead," he said.

Mr Brown said the mood at the Sungold Field Days had been positive.

There had been a great turn out of visitors.

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