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.
Goulburn Valley Football League's sacred grand final tradition on the Sunday after the AFL decider has been scrapped for next year.
The Yarrawonga Mulwala Cricket Club has hosted the first ever ACA Masters contest at the Stan Hargreaves Oval in Yarrawonga.
There was a good turnout for Wednesday’s Remembrance Day service in Tatura, which saw a number of wreaths laid at the War Memorial, and the presentation to Brad Corken, of the Tatura RSL Spirit Award 2015, by president Robert Mathieson.
LILY O’Connell is dedicated to her art, it is her life.
A GROUP of Rochester Secondary College students visited Bendigo last week to donate blood for the first time.
Bowls Club hosts 49th Victorian Country Masters Pairs
The Oriential Weatherloach has infested the Goulburn River.
The largest ever Strawberry Fields crowd turned out to enjoy the event on the Murray River at Tocumwal at the weekend.
AFTER the hottest October in Victoria since records began in the 1850s, it will come as little surprise that rainfall across the district was unusually low.
Berrigan farmers are being asked to stop harvesting activities from 2pm today with increasing fire risk due to high temperatures and strong winds.
‘Peppinella’ development bigger than first planned
Seven bridges along the Goulburn Valley Highway will be strengthened to allow larger, high productivity vehicles to use them.
200 people banded together on an 18 hour journey to raise money for the Cancer Council.
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.