Focus Farms is a two year on-site dairy farm program targeting improvements to the bottom line of your business.
The Focus Farms program has been benefiting dairy farmers Australia-wide for more than eight years and running in the Dairy NSW region since 2014.
As a result of Focus Farms, a growing network of dairy farms across Australia are now models of whole farm systems and profitability. Through on-farm meetings, open days and reports, Focus Farms not only benefits participants, but all interested farmers and communities. How do we know? We measured the impact of the program on the first two Dairy NSW focus farms, Wogamia and Raelands.
The Dairy NSW Focus Farms Review Report confirmed that:
There was strong positive feedback on the value and effectiveness of focus farms
The focus farms themselves confirmed a significant benefit to their business
Support group members confirmed significant benefits through their role
Open day participants were influenced by their experiences
We received good feedback from our communications about the program through newsletters, web and media
Dairy NSW Focus Farm Stories: Raelands Dairy and Wogamia Dairy
Program completed: March 2017
Raelands, in Barrington NSW has been a family farm since the 1860's. Chris McRae started dairying there in 1981. Chris's son, James is a fifth generation dairy farmer who returned to the farm in May 2013 with his wife Lauren, transitioning the business to a two family operation. At the finish of the Focus Farm program, Chris, James and Lauren had achieved the following successes:
Milk production up by 35%
Cow numbers up by 15%
Per cow production up by 3%
Income up by 22%
Costs down by 10%
Cash surplus this year of $115,000, before debt servicing and drawings.
Wogamia Dairy, near Nowra, has been run by Dan and Bec Cochrane since 2012. Wogamia was the first Dairy NSW Focus Farm and at the time the program started, Dan and Bec had a herd of 300 dairy cows, predominantly Holstein/Friesian with some Illawarra, Aussie Reds, Jersey and crossbreds. The dairy was a 15 year old 28 swing over herringbone with a total milking area of 115ha. By program close Wogamia had achieved the following successes:
A 25% total increase in herd size from 300 to 380 milkers
An increase in the average milk solids per cow, year on year
An increase in average Margin over Total Feed costs
The monthly BMCC average stayed below 190 000 cells/ml for the last 12 months of the program
Reduced milkings per month for Dan and Bec and more time off-farm
Dairy Australia has established a network of Focus Farms to support farmer decision making. Find out how Focus Farms looks at the factors impacting decisions at any point in time, including seasonal and market conditions.
DataGene is an independent and industry-owned organisation responsible for driving genetic gain and herd improvement in the Australian dairy industry and is an initiative of Dairy Australia and industry.