Dairy Farm Monitor Project

fresian dairy cow in pasture with hills behindThe Dairy Farm Monitor Project is a comprehensive financial and production analysis of 80 Victorian dairy farm businesses in Northern Victoria, South-West Victoria and Gippsland.

Now in its sixteenth year, the project is a joint initiative between Agriculture Victoria and Dairy Australia.

Reports inform government and industry decision-makers on the farm-level factors that contribute to profit and the information helps shape policy design, research themes and extension programs.

The results and trends reported need to be interpreted carefully as participant farms might not be representative of the industry or region and participant farms differ every year.

Industry reports

2021 to 2022

The 2021-22 year was another positive one for the Victorian dairy industry. The latest data from the Dairy Farm Monitor (DFM) Project shows average profit was the fourth highest in the 16 years of the project (accounting for inflation), reflecting the strong performance of DFM participants and was lower than the previous year’s high.

The strong performance in 2021-22 was influenced by a nine per cent increase in average milk price to $7.37 per kilogram of milk solids. However, the increased milk price coincided with higher input costs and supply constraints, including labour, feed and fertiliser, which impacted on the overall 2021–22 farm business margins.

Dairy farms in the irrigation areas (Goulburn Murray and Macalister Irrigation District) had favourable seasonal conditions and lower irrigation costs, which assisted in strong performances.

Region Overview report

Victoria overview (PDF - 421.5 KB)

Victoria overview (WORD - 46.9 KB)

Northern Victoria Northern Victoria overview (PDF - 1.0 MB)

Northern Victoria overview (WORD - 46.0 KB)
South west  Victoria

South west Victoria overview (PDF - 1.1 MB)

South west Victoria overview (WORD - 46.2 KB)


Gippsland overview (PDF - 1.3 MB)

Gippsland overview (WORD - 51.2 KB)

2020 to 2021

The positive financial returns in 2020–21 are welcome across the sector after the challenging seasonal conditions and financial pressures experienced over the past decade. In 2020–21, average farm earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to $422,000 ($1.86 per kilogram of milk solids [kg MS]). Livestock trading profit increased, fodder inventory increased, and costs decreased.

Gippsland and the South west recorded close to long-term average in 2020-21, with the North offering its best result in 15 years. A decline in milk price did not deter 75 of the 80 farms recording a positive performance.

Region Overview report


Victoria overview (PDF - 1.7 MB)

Victoria overview (WORD - 52.6 KB)

Northern Victoria

Northern Victoria overview   (PDF - 795.8 KB)

Northern Victoria overview (WORD - 52.3 KB)

South west Victoria

South west Victoria overview   (PDF - 899.5 KB)

South west Victoria overview (WORD - 51.6 KB)


Gippsland overview   (PDF - 915.0 KB)

Gippsland overview (WORD - 35.8 KB)

2019 to 2020

A challenging first six months of 2019 to 2020 was followed by improved seasonal and business conditions in the second half of 2019 to 2020 to lift performance across Victoria’s dairy regions compared to the previous year.

Dairy farmers were able to lower their costs and with a 17 per cent improvement in milk price, EBIT increased to $346,000 per farm ($1.68/kg MS).

Region Overview report


Victoria overview (PDF - 2.3 MB)

Victoria overview (WORD - 60.4 KB)

Northern Victoria

Northern Victoria overview  (PDF - 1.2 MB)

Northern Victoria overview (WORD - 81.2 KB)

South west Victoria

South west Victoria overview  (PDF - 1.3 MB)

South west Victoria overview (WORD - 80.9 KB)


Gippsland overview  (PDF - 1.4 MB)

Gippsland overview (WORD - 81.5 KB)

2018 to 2019

It was a challenging year for the Victorian dairy industry in 2018 to 2019 wirth mixed performance across the regions.

Profit was constrained by continued dry seasonal conditions and high input costs, particularly in irrigation water, grain and fodder.

These costs were only partially offset by a 6 per cent increase in milk price. On average, EBIT was $85,000 per farm, a significant decline from the previous year.

Region Overview report


Victoria overview (PDF - 556.4 KB)

Victoria overview  (WORD - 25.4 KB)

Northern Victoria

Northern Victoria overview (PDF - 644.9 KB)

Northern Victoria overview  (WORD - 25.8 KB)

South west Victoria

South west Victoria overview (PDF - 682.0 KB)

South west Victoria overview  (WORD - 25.8 KB)


Gippsland overview (PDF - 655.6 KB)

Gippsland overview (WORD - 25.9 KB)

For earlier Dairy Farm Monitor Project annual reports please contact the team at fmp.victoria@agriculture.vic.gov.au or visit the Dairy Australia – Dairy Farm Monitor Project website.

Page last updated: 05 Oct 2022