New figures show that more than 800 dairy farmers in Australia have walked off the land since the deregulation of the industry, Industry Search.com reports.
According to the story, South Australia was worst hit with 17 per cent of the state's 660 farmers forced off the land, while in New South Wales more than 270 of the state's 1,700 farmers have left the industry.
In the country's biggest dairy state, Victoria, 120 of its 7,800 farmers left the industry while in Tasmania another 51 farmers left of its total of 734.
The Australian dairy industry was deregulated in June 2000 and subsidies were withdrawn for drinking milk.
Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics executive director Brian Fisher said despite the fall in dairy numbers, dairy incomes were expected to be up this year.He said dairy farmers in NSW were looking at an average income of around $68,000 (€40,480) after it fell to $56,000 the previous year.In Victoria, the average dairy farmer income should be around $107,000, up from $91,000.
Despite the better news, there are fears milk prices will fall by up to 17 per cent when new contracts are negotiated in the second half of this year.