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AS dairy farmer have just enough pasture

Wendy Collis, Friday July 12, 2013 - 10:24 EST
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Rio Tinto's Hamersley Agriculture Project is using 20 gigalitres of water a year pumped from it's Marandoo mine to irrigate 830 hectares of hay. - ABC

In the south-east of South Australia, irrigation has meant there are some reserves for most dairy farmers when it comes to pasture levels, but they are still holding out for a good spring.

Graeme Hamilton farms a herd of over 450 dairy cows, at O.B. Flat near Mount Gambier.

He says they have just enough pasture to get by, but have none to spare.

Mr Hamilton says he's had to remain on irrigation for longer than usual and is now willing the grass to grow. He is having to get in supplementary feed.

"We think that probably the going price for grain, feed grain, is probably about $50 overpriced for what we can afford to pay, sustainably that is.

"And the all-up cost of production is still two or three cents below actual cost production of milk, so what we receive is two or three cents less.

"Of course the opening price is a step in the right direction, but it's only allowing the recovery to begin."


© ABC 2013

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