The awards recognise farmers who produce the nation’s best milk based on bulk milk cell count (BMCC). Gold Awards recognise the ‘top 100’ dairy farmers nationwide for milk quality, while Silver Awards are given to the top five per cent of producers.
Dairy Australia managing director Dr David Nation congratulated the 2019 winners.
“You can’t achieve an award like this without focus across the year on milk quality. For many farmers, it reflects dedication over many years to get to this level.
These awards recognise the quality and safety of Australian milk that all farmers should take pride in,” Dr Nation said.
A focus on a low BMCC in milk production helps farmers prevent mastitis in their herd and can boost profitability, as producers are often paid a premium for qualifying milk by dairy processors.
Dairy Australia analysis has found that a farmer milking 300 cows who lowers their BMCC from 300,000 to 200,000 would be financially better off to the tune of $35,700 per year.
Dr Nation said Dairy Australia supports farmers to build their skills through its network of eight Regional Development Programs around the country, which run workshops and events to assist farmers to upskill themselves and their farm workers.
“Dairy farmers can improve milk quality by attending training courses nationwide, available through our Regional Development Programs,” Dr Nation said.
“Farmers can also access a range of resources online to improve their milk quality by visiting Dairy Australia’s website and using services like DataGene.”
Data for the Milk Quality Awards is supplied to Dairy Australia by dairy companies across the country.
To be eligible, dairy farms must have data for a minimum of nine months in a calendar year. Monthly averages are then used to calculate the annual average BMCC for each farm.