Nationally, average farm cash income for dairy industry farms increased from $75 110 per farm in 2009-10 to $141 000 per farm in 2010-11, the highest since 2007-08, in real terms. The increase in average farm cash income was mainly because of higher prices paid in milk in regions producing manufacturing milk. Milk production remained similar to 2009-10 despite improved grazing conditions and increased availability of irrigation water.
Average dairy farm cash income for Queensland increased slightly from an average of $114 060 per farm in 2009-10 to $115 400 per farm in 2010-11. Milk production declined in 2010-11, resulting in lower milk receipts. However, this reduction was offset by a fall in average total cash costs resulting mainly from decreased expenditure on purchased fodder.
In 2011-12, despite a small increased in national milk production, lower milk prices are projected to result in reduced average financial performance of dairy farms in all states except in Tasmania. Farm cash income for Australian dairy farms is projected to decline slightly to average $ 136 000 per farm in 2011-12, which is still around 30% above the average for the 10 years to 2010-11.
Farm cash income is estimated to have declined for Queensland dairy farms in 2011-12. Milk production and prices were lower. The reduction in total cash receipts is estimated to have been partly offset by lower total cash costs, particularly due to further reduction in fodder expenditure. Nevertheless, average farm cash income is projected to have fallen to $89 000 per farm in 2011-12, which is around the 10 year average to 2010-11 for Queensland dairy farms (in real terms).