Curra farmers Owen and Todd Brown with one of their jersey cows.
Curra farmers Owen and Todd Brown with one of their jersey cows. Renee Pilcher

How now Brown's cows? Dairy farmers call it a day

THE Gympie dairy industry took another step towards extinction this week when second and third-generation Curra farmers Owen and Kylie Brown, and their son Todd, sold their 127-strong herd.

Cochrane Livestock principal John Cochrane conducted the dairy dispersal sale, which drew about 30 buyers.

While Mr Cochrane said more buyers would have been preferable, the entire friesian and jersey herd was sold and would now join herds from north of Bundaberg, to Taree and Boonah. A top price of $1250 was reached for one of the Browns' "fresh" jerseys.

"Fresh cows are in demand," Mr Cochrane said.

Mr and Mrs Brown took the 400-acre (160ha) property over from Mrs Brown's father, Albert Nugent, about five years ago.

Mr Nugent established it as a dairy farm in 1960 and died in January this year.

Mr Cochrane, who runs his own Gympie business and a dairy farm at Goomong, said more farmers were being forced out by poor milk prices.

"We are supplying a market that is not returning a fair market price," he said.

Mr Brown endorsed those comments, saying low milk prices combined with high electricity and grain prices meant there was just no money to be made in dairy.

Government at state and federal levels was doing nothing to help anyone in rural industry, Mr Brown said.

The Browns will now focus on growing and harvesting hay on their property.

Mr Cochrane was born on a stud jersey dairy farm at Kin Kin to be a fifth generation dairy farmer - there were 80 dairy farms in Kin Kin at the time; today there are none.

Gympie Times


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