When the government asked farmers to prepare their leaves for shipment, it did not expect it to be a daunting task.
The plant needed to be cleaned and dried.
The leaves needed to go into bags, labelled with a number.
The plants needed to get a new watering system.
It was a lot of paperwork, said Joanne Senna, who runs the Cattle & Prawns Cooperative in Cairns, a farming community on the Central Coast.
But Ms Senna’s co-operative, which supplies local cattle with milk and other products, has already had a major hit in recent months, with its prices falling by more than half.
She said she had been expecting to see a few cases of colic and other respiratory problems in some of her cattle, but she had never seen such a large spike in cases.
“I’m just shocked that we have seen so much change in the last three months,” Ms Sna said.
“It’s really frustrating.”
In Victoria, the numbers of colics have dropped sharply.
In 2015, there were about 1,600 cases of cow colic in the state, down from 1,817 in 2014, according to the Victorian government.
But in the past year, the number of cases has more than doubled to 7,000.
In the first six months of this year, more than 1,000 cases of dairy cow colics were reported in Victoria.
A number of factors have contributed to the increase, including an increase in numbers coming into the state from overseas.
More than 100,000 people from overseas arrived in Victoria last year, mainly to work in the beef industry, but the number has also grown in recent years.
“We do see a lot more cases now, so there’s a lot going on,” Ms Gorman said.
Ms Gordan said she and her husband have been getting increasingly frustrated by the amount of paperwork required by the Australian Department of Agriculture.
“If it was just one person we would probably do it,” she said.
But now she has her own team of four staff, which includes her husband.
They have had to use iPads to help them with the paperwork, which has become much more difficult.
“There are a lot fewer people who have access to a laptop and the ability to do all the calculations and all the data entry, so we’re getting a lot less out of it,” Ms Rugg said.
She added that she and the rest of the team had been working hard to make sure that the colic cases were being reported accurately, as quickly as possible.
“As much as I hate to say it, the staff in the office have been really good about taking on the responsibility,” she told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“They’re really good at coming in with a spreadsheet, writing down the numbers on a piece of paper, then checking that everything’s right.”
Ms Rigg said that while she was frustrated with the increase in cases, she was confident that the new system would help keep the state’s dairy industry running smoothly.
“With the new colic system we’ll have to make it better,” she added.
The Australian Dairy Farmers Association has said that the cost of the new regime has been passed onto farmers, but that the majority of those affected will not be able to benefit from it.
In Victoria’s Northern Territory, the government has been trying to persuade local dairy farmers to voluntarily reduce their milk production.
In a statement, the Australian Dairy Council said the system was already in place and the voluntary reductions had already reduced the milk supply to about 11 million litres a day, down significantly from the previous year.
“The Government has also made it clear that voluntary reductions in milk production are not mandatory,” the statement said.