NO wonder dairy farmers are ready to march on Canberra.
Everyone got it badly wrong.
To inform the public debate, it was crucial to correctly forecast the impact of the carbon tax on the electricity costs of dairy farmers.
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences estimated an average 9.7 per cent rise in dairy farmer power bills, an annual rise of $1240.
That ABARES report also showed the added costs if the factories passed on their own high power costs would be $4200.
The authors of that report clearly got it wrong.
Our investigation shows the bills that have crash landed on farm kitchen tables in the past few weeks and months reflect a rise of at least 30 per cent.
Other research for the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria now says the carbon tax will cost dairy farmers an average of more than $24,000.
Some power companies clearly include the carbon tax as a line item and some don't but across the board the impact will obviously be massive.
It's more than just the carbon tax, there are other "renewable energy" charges, and higher distribution costs which have blown out the power bill.
Dairy farmers were already on their knees.
Supermarkets intent on making milk cheaper than water are just a domestic sideshow although it still hurts.
The main game is overseas and the high Australian dollar is killing lots of big exporters.
In some ways it may even be good timing this power bill hit when the cost-price squeeze is at its worst, in a higher price year it may have passed unnoticed.
Now we as a nation have an opportunity to right a wrong and rescue Victoria's largest rural industry.
Farmers are right to start flexing some political muscle.
The solutions are not immediately obvious but the urgent need for action certainly is.