Strong profits help farmers prepare for the future

Victoria’s livestock producers have recorded some of their best profit performances in almost 20 years and are using the good times to prepare for the future.

Agriculture Victoria Farm Business Economist Sam Henty said the results of the 51st Livestock Farm Monitor Project showed 97 of the 113 participating farm businesses recorded a positive 2020-21 profit result.

“The 2020-21 project results identified strong red meat prices and good seasonal conditions helped keep farm incomes and stocking rates high,” Mr Henty said.

“Sheep and cattle producers are using the favourable conditions to prepare for future challenges, such as climate change, by investing in new or upgrading machinery, repaying debt and applying capital fertiliser to pastures.”

The South-West had the highest profit of all the regions with farms maintaining quality pastures and increasing stocking rates to the second-highest level ever recorded.

The livestock sector has faced seasonal challenges in Gippsland and northern Victoria with drought, fires and floods in recent years and the improved performances in these two regions is welcome news.

Farmers in Northern Victoria doubled their profit in 2020-21 compared to the previous year and recorded the highest average gross farm income in the project’s history for this region.

Northern Victorian farmers achieved this by increasing livestock and feed inventories and using the additional pasture growth to rebuild stock numbers, particularly in sheep enterprises, to the highest levels recorded in 17 years.

Favourable rainfall at key times in East and Central Gippsland increased pasture availability and reduced variable costs due to a lower reliance on supplementary feed.

Gippsland farmers took advantage of the record high beef prices, with farms recording their third highest profit in 17 years of the project.

Participation in the 2020-21 project was the highest in 12 years with increased participation underpinned by Agriculture Victoria’s sheep and beef networks known as the BestWool/BestLamb (BWBL) and BetterBeef (BB).

Livestock Farm Monitor participants’ identity is kept anonymous and each receives a confidential individualised report to use to understand the cash, profit and wealth position of their business which helps inform investment decisions (including loan applications), on-farm decision making and resilience building.

Farmers who participate in the project increase their understanding of their farm business which builds resilience and improves their ability to adapt to change which is a commitment of the Victorian Government’s Agriculture strategy.

For more information about the Livestock Farm Monitor Project visit:

Source: Agriculture Victoria