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.
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
A snake was spotted this afternoon.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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