About the industry

  1980 2000 2012
No. of dairy farmers 1730 587 275
No. of cows 103,000 124,000 77,000
Average herd size 60 211 280
Average production per cow (litres/year) 3163 6369 6566
Total SA production (litres) 329 million 699 million 570 million
  •  The farm gate value of milk produced in SA per annum is about $280 million, contributing significantly to the SA economy, particularly in the South East and Fleurieu Peninsula.
  • SA dairy farmers are good at what they do – their cows produce more on average than any other state and the quality of the milk ranks among the best in Australia.
  • There are currently 47 processing plants in SA compared with 20 about two decades ago. The major expansion has been in the number of small specialist “boutique” processors.