Some Australian farmers can now invest in worker accommodation on their farms without the need for a planning permit.
Victorian Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas released the 2020-21 Dairy Farm Monitor report this month, which shows the hard work and resilience of farmers has paid off after experiencing some difficult years responding to recent dry conditions, low water allocations and market volatility.
Agriculture Victoria's Dairy Farm Monitor project is a collaboration with Dairy Australia to provide critical insight for industry into how the sector is tracking. The annual report is a comprehensive financial and prodution analysis of 80 Victorian dairy farm businesses in south-western Victoria, Gippsland and northern Victoria.
The quality benchmarking data in the report gives Victorian dairy farmers the ability to make comparisons and identify areas they could change to improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of their businesses.
While average dairy farm profits were up across most of the state, dairy farmers in Victoria's north posted the best results, taking advantage of favourable seasonal conditions to record the highest profits this region has seen for 15 years.
Since the last report, farm cashflows have increased from the previous year, with 94% of farms recording a positive return. This financial rebound has enabled farmers to invest back into their businesses by repairing and upgrading infrastructure and machinery and improving pastures.
Victoria is a leading contributor to Australia's dairy industry, accounting for 77% of Australia's dairy exports valued at $2.1 billion.
The gross value of milk produced in Victoria is worth A$2.7 billion (2018-19). The sector supports almost 10,000 jobs with more than half of these workers located in regional Victoria.