Dairy Australia - Dairy information for Australian Dairy Farmers and the industry

Primary content

Read about feedbase and animal nutrition and their impact on farm profitability.

  • Animal nutrition and feed systems

    Animal nutrition and feed systems

    Objectives

    Provide farmers with the know how to improve the integration and strategic use of supplements in farm systems.

    3 year plan focus

    • Better integrating supplements and pasture - Optimising milk production
    • Economics of feeding systems
    • Large herd feeding systems management
    • Feeding options to manage heat stress

  • Dairy futures CRC forages

    Dairy Futures CRC - Forages

    Objectives

    Deliver forage improvement innovations with projected industry benefits of $800 per hectare to commercial partners in 2022 (additional to the expected industry benefits of $240 per hectare from the Dairy Futures CRC).

    3 year plan focus

    • Projects commenced to deliver new hybrid breeding systems where >80% of plants in new perennial ryegrass varieties are high-performance hybrids.
    • Projects commenced to increased pasture persistence (three year extension of productive life) and performance through the improved use of endophyte technology.

  • Forage improvement

    Forage improvement

    Objectives

    To provide genetic innovations in forages and improved selection processes that underpin future productivity gains.

    3 year plan focus

    • Launch the Forage Value Index in November 2016, utilising Pasture Trials Network, forage evaluation research and other data sources
    • DairyBio establishment and transition
    • Entomology survey of South East Australia

  • GM path to market

    GM Path to Market

    Objectives

    To develop and implement a timely path-to-market for the outcomes of the Dairy Futures GM pasture work to ensure products are commercialised and dairy farmers can access new varieties.

    3 year plan focus

    • Work with the dairy industry, and related stakeholders, to develop a set of agreed processes/activities with buy-in from all.
    • Exploring opportunities to work with the NZ dairy industry
    • Encourage industry to develop a united position
    • Inform the development of Government policy in relation to gene editing and other gene related technologies.
    • Undertake market analysis to gain knowledge of key country and customer GM crop views, usage and regulatory frameworks

  • Integrated feedbase R D and E

    Integrated feedbase R D and E

    Objectives

    Continue to innovate in development and delivery of integrated RD&E knowledge for creating sustained profitability.

    3 year plan focus

    • Pastures on PAR - TIA Feedbase RD & E
    • Queensland and Subtropical RD & E (C4 MILK)
    • WA Research Development & Extension Hub
    • Virtual Fencing/Herding

  • Supporting practice change

    Supporting practice change

    Objectives

    Sustained practice change and best practice management of pasture and forages leading to more profitable and resilient dairy farms.

    3 year plan focus

    • Deliver a coordinated series of education programs and tools to support Feedbase & Animal Nutrition education and extension across Australia
    • Develop farmer and adviser capability
    • Deliver improved resources and tools, e.g. feed budgeting, diet balancing
    • Build Animal Nutrition capability of farmers and service providers

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.

Major Initiatives

Focus Farms

Dairy Australia has established a network of Focus Farms to support farmer decision making.

DairyBase

DairyBase is a web-based tool that enables dairy farmers to measure and compare their farm business performance over time.

More Initiatives