As this year draws to a close, we look back over the last 12 months and to the coming year ahead.
The VFF/UDV continued to work hard to minimise disruptions to dairy businesses due to the impact of Covid restrictions.
It was great to come together for the UDV Conference in April to discuss policy and issues affecting dairy. Last season finished reasonably well as shown by the Farm Monitor Report through an improved milk price and good seasonal conditions though higher input costs impacted business margins.
This season began well with record milk prices, but the extremely wet conditions across the state through spring has reduced milk production, fodder quality and silage and hay quantities.
Due to the storage dams and rivers already at capacity the above average rain in October caused widespread flooding in northern Victoria.
VFF/UDV has worked hard to advocate for government support and with the likes of Agriculture Victoria and Murray Dairy to support our dairy farmers through a very difficult time.
Cool weather has continued which has hampered on farm growth of summer crops, though fortunately the weather is warming up now.
Through lobbying efforts of VFF/UDV and NFF, the Australian government has committed a $14 million biosecurity package to reduce the threat of Foot and Mouth (FMD) and Lumpy Skin Disease.
Almost 9 million livestock have now been vaccinated in Indonesia against FMD. Prevention and preparedness activities continue in Australia.
Two highlights of the year have been wins on tyres for silage conservation, with no costs to farmers and new telehandler licensing reform enabling relevant training for use on farm. Labor continues to be the number one issue on dairy farms and VFF/UDV work on this at state level and nationally through Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF).
VFF/UDV look forward to engaging with members in the new year and are planning to visit all regions to hear local issues and see where we can support and advocate for the dairy industry.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and prosperous 2023.
VFF/UDV members can contact Peter Costello directly for assistance with any dairy industry issues on 0428 870 746 or email – [email protected]