Dairy company is milking strong global conditions

Swan Marsh dairy farmer Alan Oborne will benefit from a price increase from multinational dairy company Fonterra.

A rise in milk prices from dairy company Fonterra has put smiles on the faces of south-west dairy farmers.

In its second announcement for the 2010 and 2011 season, the dairy conglomerate said it would increase prices for Victorian and Tasmanian farmer suppliers, backdated to July 1 last year.

Fonterra’s national milk services manager Heather Stacey said the price increase was indicative of conditions in global dairy commodity markets, where prices had held and strengthened in December and January.

The prices will increase by eight cents a kilogram of fat and 20 cents a kilogram of protein, or 13 cents a kilogram of milk solids.

The increase comes as welcome relief to famers, who have faced a tough export market because of the strong Australian dollar.

Swan Marsh’s Alan Oborne, a supplier of Fonterra, said he was pleased with the price boost.

“It’s a good thing and it’s probably a reflection of the world markets,” he said.

“Hopefully it’s one of a few more within the end of the season.”

Mr Oborne, who owns about 85 milkers, said he usually saw about four step-ups a season, depending on sales.

Meanwhile, Mr Oborne said the unusually high January rain had been a positive for his farm and had resulted in increased production and grass in his paddocks.

Beeac dairy farmer Eric Stinchcombe has 500 milkers on two properties, and said the Fonterra price increase was “good and well accepted”.

“We’re sort of at the end of milking season but it’s a step up and it has quite an impact at the end of June,” he said.

Mr Stinchcombe said the rain had prolonged the milking season, but said his cows did not like it.

He said he had to change the cows’ feed due to the large volumes of water falling on paddocks.

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