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We provide the latest and best information of milk production sales, drinking milk consumption, and yield per cow.

Milk

Farm numbers have steadily decreased over the past three decades whilst average farm size and milk production generally increased. This is due to growth in cow numbers and improved cow yields – up until the major widespread drought of 2002/03. The following decade saw a period of consolidation for the industry, with falling cow numbers and dry seasonal conditions constraining production, particularly in northern Victoria.

In recent years, volatility in farmgate milk prices and farm incomes have impacted farmer confidence and ability to grow. With the industry disruption caused by the late season step-downs in 2015/16 and lower average milk prices in 2016/17, many farmers focused on cost control, refinancing and business consolidation, rather than longer term investments to increase production. In many cases, farmers culled extensively during these years, taking advantage of higher beef prices to maintain cashflow. 

In 2017/18 farmgate milk prices recovered slightly while seasonal conditions remained mostly favourable during the first half of the year. As a result, milk production increased by almost 274 million litres, to 9,289 million litres. 

During spring, milk production volumes grew steadily, up more than 7% compared to last season. However, following an exceptionally dry autumn, with increasing feed costs, milk production slowed, finishing at 3% growth in 2017/18.

Milk production (million litres) by state


NSW VIC QLD SA WA TAS AUST
1979/80 907 3,151 508 329 222 315 5,432
1989/90 879 3,787 629 356 267 344 6,262
1999/00 1,395 6,870 848 713 412 609 10,847








2005/06 1,197 6,651 597 646 377 622 10,089
2006/07 1,104 6,297 537 655 349 641 9,583
2007/08 1,048 6,102 486 606 319 661 9,223
2008/09 1,064 6,135 513 628 340 709 9,388
2009/10 1,099 5,813 530 605 359 677

9,084

2010/11
1,087 5,936 487
572 372 726
9,180  
2011/12 1,136 6,246 491 
575 349
792
9,589
2012/13
1,137 6,076 465 542 349
765
9,334 
2013/14
1,124 6,174 
446
525 
342 
810
9,421
2014/15
1,184 
6,441 
422 
530 367 891
9,805 
2015/16
1,198
6,249 
421 
538 
392 
883
9,681
2016/17  1,141 5,732  425 497  385  836 9,016 
2017/18  1,121  5,965  399  505  386  913  9,289 

Source: Dairy Manufacturers

 

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