Geography of Dairy Farming

Chris White

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Environmental, social, and economic impacts of primary production

Environmental:

  • Greenhouse Gases - The cows produce a lot of Methane and
  • Water and land use
  • Deforestation
  • Management and disposal of manure
  • Soil erosion
  • Nutrient runoff

http://organic-center.org/reportfiles/COFEFFinal_Nov_2.pdf

http://www.animalsaustralia.org/factsheets/dairy_cows.php

Social:

  • Australia's 3rd largest rural industry - $13 billion farm, manufacturing and export industry
  • Milk utilisation - Cheese (33%), Butter/Solid Milk Powder (28%), Milk (27%) etc.
  • Production of main commodities - Milk Powder (333,000 tonnes p/year), Cheese (338,000 tonnes p/year), and Butter (118,200 tonnes p/year)
  • Major markets for Australian Dairy Products - Major markets are Australia, Japan, China and Singapore
  • Per capita consumption is quite high - Drinking Milk (107 litres), Cheese (13.5kg)
  • Dairy Industry workforce - Direct employment 43,000, Indirect employment 100,000

Australian Dairy at a Glace (2012/13) worksheet

Economic

  • Australia's 3rd largest rural industry - $13 billion farm, manufacturing and export industry
  • Dairy is a major export industry - $2.76 billion
  • Dairy Industry Workforce - Has many jobs to offer a lot of people
  • Major markets for Australian Dairy Products - Major markets are Australia, Japan, China and Singapore

Australian Dairy at a Glance (2012/13) worksheet

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Current Issues related to the production of dairy farming

  • It costs farmers 43 cents to produce one litre of milk, but they are only getting 38 cents in return. This means they are losing 5 cents per litre, which isn't good for the future.
  • Some more issues include water usage, animal health and welfare, as well as finding training and retaining quality staff.

http://www.australiandairyfarmers.com.au/FAQRetrieve.aspx?ID=48222

  • The main environmental issue is water and air pollution - the water pollution arises from the bad disposal of manure and the application of fertilisers for forage production.
  • Water bodies are also affected by pathogens which were in the manure.

http://www.oecd.org/tad/sustainable-agriculture/33798326.pdf


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