Milk cut the final straw

END OF AN ERA: Bruce Lumsden with some of the young calves he is now likely to send to market as he grappls with pulling the pin on his family’s 93 years in the dairy industry. PHOTO: Justin Jenvey

A BUCKLAND Valley dairy farmer says enough is enough.

Bruce Lumsden says Murray Goulburn’s decision to slash its farm gate milk price was the straw that broke the camel’s back and likely to end almost a century of dairy farming for his family.

He says it would have been nice to go out on his terms.

Mr Lumsden says escalating property prices, increasingly tough growing seasons and the impact of feral deer on his pastures had already put financial pressure on his operation.

“The price Murray Goulburn was prepared to pay ahead of this latest cut was right on the margin,” he said.

“We farm in a narrow valley and that means the growing seasons are short.

“To increase our production we would need to buy more land but the property up here is increasingly being sold to lifestyle buyers and that pushes farmers out of the market.

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