The drought is having a significant impact on the SA dairy industry. South Australian Dairyfarmers Association (SADA) CEO Andrew Curtis says that in many areas, feed costs for grain and hay has more than doubled, while home fodder conservation has been reduced due to the dry winter and very dry start to spring.

Andrew says the season calls for careful consideration of budgets and business plans. This may include decisions relating to:

  • Expenditure reviews;
  • Culling decisions; and
  • Sourcing alternate or novel feeds.

“We encourage conversations about budget savings, but we also want to highlight the importance of maintaining quality, which is integral to the SA dairy brand,” Andrew says.

“Dealing with the drought has been likened to a rally driver approaching a downhill corner. As you descend the hill, you crunch down through the gears to both maintain control and slow the car ­– and to place yourself in the best position to accelerate out of the corner.

“Similarly, decisions you make during drought should assist you with dealing with the immediate challenge, but also put you in a good position for life after the drought.”

SADA is keen to talk to farmers about drought strategies. You can contact SADA via