Scott Braendler knows all too well how variable the season has been across South Australia's dairy regions, and how easily that affects production.
After decades spent farming at Jervois, SA, he and his family moved their Ayrshire operation, Boldview Farms, to Kalangadoo, SA, in December in a case of "perfect" timing.
"We had uncertainty about rainfall at Jervois," he said.
"Last year we sowed 160 hectares of cereal crop and got 45 rolls of hay (from that)."
Their South East property has set them up with 18,000 rolls of silage and 1200 rolls of hay, which lifted their milk production figures 1000 litres to 1200L, with the same number of animals.
SA's 2018-19 milk production was mostly static, just 1.58 per cent down on 2017-18, with 496.3 million litres.
It began strong with a lift of 3.3pc in August, year-on-year, and 6.1pc in September, before production declined from December onwards.
The worst hits came in April and May, which were 10.8pc and 10.1pc down on 2018 figures.
Meadows, SA, dairy farmer Greg Edmonds said it was "rain at the right time" and holding onto feed that helped them through the season.
"I sold some hay before I realised how valuable it would be," he said.
SA Dairyfarmers' Association board member Sharon Joppich said the SE had been "fortunate" in its season, which helped shore-up SA's overall figures, but the biggest issue was finding feed.
She said the SE was two weeks away from starting silage, but it would take time to refill stocks, especially if eastern demand continued.
This story first appeared on Stock Journal
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