Feedbase and animal nutrition

Market need/context

Low cost production of home grown pastures and forages underpin the competitive advantage of Australian dairy farmers. Productivity gains are needed in the production of home grown feed, the efficient utilisation of these feeds and the profitable integration of supplements in our various feeding systems.  Dairy Moving Forward (DMF) also calls out that we are seeing a plateau in home grown feed utilisation across the country.  DMF has identified that we needed an increased focus on supported practice change within Feedbase and Animal Nutrition to assist with addressing this.  This plan while tackling the core technical issues of Feedbase and Animal Nutrition also specifically addresses the practice change challenge. Combined together they set a plan for how we can create more profitable and resilient dairy farmers through improvements in Feedbase and Animal Nutrition.

General approach/strategy

  • Developing and delivering information to farmers that leads to more informed and effective strategic (longer term), tactical (within season) and operational (day to day) feedbase management decisions
  • Investment is focused on three main areas, all within a whole-farm systems context to drive profitability and resilience of the farm business:
  • National co-ordination of development, implementation and delivery of feedbase R,D & E activities and fostering of international collaborations,
  • Increasing home-grown feed production and consumption through the development and use of elite forage technologies and management practices, including the forages program of the Dairy Futures CRC and development of a forage value index, and
  • Improving the efficiency of production and use of home grown and purchased feed into an efficient diet at both a whole farm and in cow level.