COLLECTIVE bargaining and welfare support were suggestions from a meeting that could help the struggling dairy industry.
South Australian Dairyfarmers Association president David Basham told the crowd of 200 to register their interest for collective bargaining - pooling milk to sell to a processor - as a way to help improve farmgate returns.
"We need a large pool of milk - 100 million litres-plus," Mr Basham said.
He said there were strict rules around collective bargaining and SADA could not be involved, but the process had been successful in the Fleurieu Peninsula in bringing an extra processor to the region and adding competition.
An immediate solution offered by Mr Basham was welfare support for those dairy farmers struggling put to food on the table in the current low-price, high-cost environment.
Murray Goulburn's general manager of shareholder relations, Robert Poole, offered farmers some hope on the price front.
Mr Poole said the effect of lower global production had started to filter through to world supply and this should be reflected in improved prices next season.
He told farmers the co-operative was aware of cash-flow pressure and urged them to talk to MG about loans or forgo share payments for the moment.
He said the strong dollar was damaging returns for the co-operative, and that at US90 cents it would turn MG's $1.2 billion worth of exports into $1.33 billion.
The Australian dollar should be below parity with the US dollar by September, according to NAB head of markets in South Australia and Northern Territory Alice Haynes.
Ms Haynes told the meeting bank forecasts suggested that by June next year the dollar would be down to US96 cents.
She said that quantitative easing, the mining boom and Australia's good credit rating, combined with high yields from investing in Australian government bonds, were some of the factors holding the Australia dollar at current levels.