Higher farm gate milk prices flagged as $74 million goes towards Cobram factory's consumer cheese facility.ROB HENSON May 7, 2014 3:25am
Higher returns for local dairy farmers are predicted as milk processing co-operative Murray Goulburn invests more than $74
The upgrade will replace the Cobram plant’s current cheese cut and wrap line and create larger capacity.
Murray Goulburn managing director Gary Helou said the investment would add to already high farm gate returns this season, in turn spurring regional growth, ‘‘with the vast majority of money spent by farmers in their local communities’’.
Mr Helou said the company’s aim was to increase the farm gate milk price by $1/kg milk solids by 2017.
Waaia dairy farmer and Murray Goulburn supplier Margaret Cockerell welcomed the price target but wanted more than a dollar rise in the next three years.
‘‘To not go backwards (on farm gate price) would certainly be a big advantage — traditionally we go up then go back down again (in prices) over the years,’’ she said.
Dairy Australia industry analyst John Droppert said farm gate milk prices were at ‘‘near record’’ levels, compared to prices ‘‘at their worst’’ last year.
Mr Droppert said part of the strategy behind the investment announcement was to boost confidence among suppliers.
‘‘That volatility between worst prices last season and best prices this season, year to year, has an impact on farmers wanting to make their own investments,’’ he said.
‘‘Murray Goulburn’s investment would be about allaying those fears and to prove they’re there for the long-term.
‘‘The way (Murray Goulburn’s) investments are being explained is lowering the cost of production and taking costs out of the supply chain, from the farmers’ point of view.’’
Ms Cockerell said while many producers were confident of the dairy industry’s future, many were still struggling with debt payments from the drought and were limited in terms of their on-farm investments and increasing productivity.
‘‘At the end of the day we need a lot of farms to increase per cow production,’’ she said.
Mr Droppert said another key driver behind the investment was competition at the farm gate, which would likely increase in the future.
He said cheese production was a steady market, while milk powder and infant production was surging ahead, particularly in regards to China.
Federal Member for Murray Sharman Stone said the announcement was ‘‘great news’’ for dairy farmers, the region and Murray Goulburn employees.
‘‘Murray (electorate) has a fantastic farming region especially in the dairy sector,’’ Dr Stone said.
On additional staff or construction, a company spokesperson said there was still more planning to take place, including a need for additional energy infrastructure.
Organisers of the Challenge Shepparton triathlon will donate half the entry fees from entrants in the ‘community team challenge’ to the Community Fund Goulburn Valley.
Jake Thompson has an eagle eye and a steady hand and he put both to good use recently when he won the U15 Australian Snooker Championships, held in Adelaide.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
THIS year’s Winter Blues Festival is just around the corner — kicking off for the first time on a Thursday at the Star Hotel, American Hotel and Antonio’s on the Port.
ROCHESTER went sugar free for the day on Thursday for National Diabetes Week, with the inaugural Great Sugar Free Bake Off.
Elle Groves will achieve a remarkable milestone this week, in what is already a remarkable A grade netball career with Kyabram, when she steps onto the court on Saturday for her 100th game.
Local export Willie Wheeler dominating at VFL level
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
ONCE in a while some people are lucky enough to stumble across their destiny.
Moira Shire welcomed 25 new citizens on Thursday as people from across the world chose to make Australia their home.
Mathoura endured a harsh hammering to its playing confidence on Saturday with a 24-goal thrashing at the hands of Deniliquin Rovers.
SPC will abolish its internal sales team and reduce executive numbers in the latest chapter of the company’s ongoing restructuring.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.