The imposition of a carbon tax in the economy will have indirect impacts on dairy farmers in Australia. Although there is a great deal of information available regarding mitigation strategies both in Australia and internationally, there seems to be a lack of research investigating the variable prices of carbon-based emissions on dairy farm operating profits in Australia. In this study, a stochastic analysis comparing the uncertainty in income in response to different prices on carbon-based emissions was conducted. The impact of variability in pasture consumption and variable prices of concentrates and hay on farm profitability was also investigated. The two different feeding systems examined were a ryegrass pasture-based system (RM) and a complementary forage-based system (CF). Imposing a carbon price ($20-$60) and not changing the systems reduced the farm operating profits by 28.4% and 25.6% in the RM and CF systems, respectively compared to a scenario where no carbon price was imposed. Different farming businesses will respond to variability in the rapidly changing operating environment such as fluctuations in pasture availability, price of purchased feeds and price of milk or carbon emissions differently. Further, in case there is a carbon price imposed for GHG emissions emanated from dairy farming systems, changing from pasture-based to more complex feeding systems incorporating home-grown double crops may reduce the reductions in farm operating profits. There is opportunity for future studies to focus on the impacts of different mitigation strategies and policy applications on farm operating profits. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.