Preliminary data from Dairy Food Safety Victoria shows 393 farmers have exited dairy since 1 July this year in Victoria. Since 2016 1,072 Victorian dairy farmers have left the industry. The large numbers are attributed to the milk price clawback in 2016, but many have lost confidence in the sector, which they feel fails to deliver profitable returns.
The large number of farm exits are not just contained to Victoria. In NSW, there were 23% less dairy farms on 30 June 2021 compared to June 2016 (156 less dairy farms). In Tasmania, the number of dairy farms fell 9% for the period, with 391 dairy farms still milking on 30 June 2020. In total, the number of Australian farms has fallen 17% from June 2016 to June 2020.