A new pricing tool for dairy farmers was launched at the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria annual conference on Friday.
The online tool aims to bring transparency to the Australian milk market.
The free calculator provides farmers with an independent, transparent and credible source of farmgate milk prices and payment information.
It has been developed by independent milk services company Milk2Market.
"We've combined industry experience, published price announcements and publicly available data to produce the best milk pricing tool available," general manager, commercial development, Richard Lange said.
UDV president Paul Mumford told the conference that although the UDV did not directly endorse commercial products, it had been really keen to see something like this developed.
Mr Lange told the conference the relationship between farmers and buyers had changed.
"The milk supply chain has changed and the milk market has changed," he said.
The calculator had been years in the making.
It would enable farmers to compare the payments they would receive from different processors and encouraged them to engage with dairy companies.
It would also enable farmers planning a change to their farm to calculate the impact of that change on the payments they would receive.
Mr Lange said there was an annual auction for each farmer's milk and the calculator would enable each individual farmer to identify the payment system that best suited their production system.
To use the tool, farmers download an Excel spreadsheet and enter in details about their farm and production per month.
They then email the spreadsheet and six minutes later receive an email back showing the pricing from different companies collecting milk in their region.
Farmers can compare payment structures and pricing based on their individual farm system.
"Members across the supply chain as well as government and regulators have been calling for greater price transparency in the dairy industry," Mr Lange said.
"Our goal is to make buying and selling milk better for everyone," he said.
"This easy-to-use online tool is free and gives farmers a customised gross annual income estimate based on an assessment of processor prices in their region."
The Milk Price Calculator is a pre-cursor to the launch of Milk2Market's Milk Exchange later this year.
The Milk Exchange will enable registered users to buy and sell milk directly via an online platform.
"We expect the calculator tool will help buyers and sellers gain a better picture of the market ahead of trading on the new milk exchange," Mr Lange said.
The Milk Price Calculator compares milk payments of major selected companies in Victoria and NSW.
Milk2Market plans to extend the service to all states (South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania).
For more information and to access the Calculator visit https://milk2market.com.au/milk-calculator/.
This story first appeared on Australian Dairyfarmer