SUPPORT LOCAL: Brent Hoffman urges shoppers to support Southern Downs farmers at the checkout.
SUPPORT LOCAL: Brent Hoffman urges shoppers to support Southern Downs farmers at the checkout. Elyse Wurm

How we can help save farmers on World Milk Day

DESPERATELY dry land and perpetually stable milk prices are putting pressure on Southern Downs farmers, but World Milk Day today is a chance for the community to recommit to supporting the region's producers.

Working on his dairy farm at Junabee, Brent Hoffman said the price of milk had only gone up about two cents in the past two decades.

"Your costs keeps going up, electricity goes up and you need to combat that to stay efficient," he said.

Introducing total mix rationing feeding because of the drought, Mr Hoffman said the weather had been declining over the past 20 years.

"It hasn't rained so you haven't cut hay or have enough storage for what you've got, you have to buy stuff in," he said.

Mr Hoffman said recent figures showed one dairy farmer was leaving the industry every 5.6 days.

But having been in the industry for nearly 25 years, Mr Hoffman said working with cows kept him motivated.

"They let you know what's going on, they let you know if they're sick or healthy, they'll come up and give you a lick," he said.

Mr Hoffman said buying branded milk and pushing for milk to be locked into the consumer price index would help support producers, as well as having flow on effects for machinery manufacturers and other connected industries.

"If a farmer is doing well, whether it's grain or dairy, he'll change his tractor but if it's hard then he'll keep that tractor and get it fixed," he said.

Gladfield dairy farmer Kevin Bourke also encouraged shoppers to buy branded milk.

"We get paid on the amount of milk that sells, so the more milk that's sold the more of it goes back to the farmer," he said.