Bushfires hit Australian dairy regions

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

By Kat Jack

Australia is currently facing extensive and severe bush fires, including in several key dairying regions. Some farmers have lost livestock and pasture, while others not directly hit by fire still have to deal with loss of power and loss of transport access - milk can’t get out, and feed can’t get in.

The Australian dairy industry has already been struggling for some time with an extended drought, which has driven declines in dairy production across this season and last. The multi-year drought and tight feed supplies pushing up costs have pushed down the national herd size and production.

Available production data doesn’t yet show the impact of the fires. According to the latest figures, Australian dairy production in November 2019 was down 3.4% on November 2018 - the smallest year-on-year decline in 13 months. However the impact is likely to come through more strongly as later data becomes available.

This could have a knock on effect on global milk supplies, as Australia is one of the world’s key dairy exporting regions. Both the Australian government and the USDA had forecast year-on-year declines in production for 2020, and the fires seem set to make this worse.

Image of staff member Katherine Jack

Katherine Jack

Environment Senior Analyst

See full bio

Sign up to receive the latest information from AHDB.

While AHDB seeks to ensure that the information contained on this webpage is accurate at the time of publication, no warranty is given in respect of the information and data provided. You are responsible for how you use the information. To the maximum extent permitted by law, AHDB accepts no liability for loss, damage or injury howsoever caused or suffered (including that caused by negligence) directly or indirectly in relation to the information or data provided in this publication.

All intellectual property rights in the information and data on this webpage belong to or are licensed by AHDB. You are authorised to use such information for your internal business purposes only and you must not provide this information to any other third parties, including further publication of the information, or for commercial gain in any way whatsoever without the prior written permission of AHDB for each third party disclosure, publication or commercial arrangement. For more information, please see our Terms of Use and Privacy Notice or contact the Director of Corporate Affairs at info@ahdb.org.uk  © Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. All rights reserved.