The last surviving dairy farmer in Clunes says the region is ripe for a dairy revival.
Warren Gallagher, who is carrying on a 104-year-old family legacy, said things have never been better thanks to great weather conditions, a good price for his milk and a change to his breeding program.
“It’s comfortably the best year I’ve had in my 31 years on the farm,” he said.
“Because our breeding program with Viking Genetics has been so successful, these days we’re not relying on cull cows to make money – milk is actually making money.
“Everyone should be milking cows up here – it’s a licence to print money at the moment.”
Despite that, Mr Gallagher has to drive 15 minutes north or 10 minutes southwest to find another dairy farm.
He said the price of land shouldn’t deter farmers, who could benefit from a good price from Norco.
“It’s a good grass growing climate with excellent and very reliable rainfall averaging 1600mm over the past 30 years,” he said.
“It’s always good here for dairy farming but you make your own luck.
Mr Gallagher also introduced Viking Red genetics about five years ago due to fertility and mastitis problems in other breeds and had noted the change as vital for his current success.
“We’re up six litres per cow for about an 8700 average. The farm total is 1.6 million litres, slightly below the record of 1.7 but with 40 less cows,” he said.
“They are a significant feature and have absolutely improved the herd.”
Originally published as Village’s last dairy farmer says it’s a ‘licence to print money’