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Feeding pastures for profit helps to improve profit from your dairy farm business, by using more home grown pasture and efficient use of supplements.

Feeding pastures for profit

Aim

The FPFP program aims to provide farmers with the skills and tools to achieve the profitable balance between home grown feed harvest and supplement use. The program comprises of:

  • 2 ‘classroom’ delivery days (10am-3pm)
  • 5 seasonal on farm sessions focusing on:
    • Autumn – setting up after the break/establishing a rotation
    • Winter – managing the wet season
    • Early spring –the key concepts of effective management of the spring surplus
    • Late spring – managing the spring - summer transition
    • Summer – managing residuals and hot conditions.
  • 1 individual farm visit to support implementation of the concepts

How the program works

  • Day 1: Managing pasture and crops to optimise hectare efficiency and DM consumption.
  • Day 2: Managing cow efficiency and integrating pastures and supplements profitably.
  • The on-farm days re-enforce these concepts as they apply throughout the season
  • The individual farm visit aims to support individual application of the concepts to each farm context.

The importance of pastures

In a business, profit is the key determinant of success, and in a pasture-based system profitability is closely linked to utilisation of pasture. If pasture is not managed properly, an increasing amount is wasted, and the productive life of the pasture is reduced. In this situation, pasture then becomes a more expensive source of feed.

Potentials for SE Australia

What are the potentials for southern Australia?

  • Maximum production from perennial ryegrass/white clover - 18 to 20t/ha/year under ideal conditions of environment and management, which means no water, nutrient or soil constraints.
  • Maximum utilisation - 80 to 90% of the potential production.
  • Maximum persistence - 5 to 10 years or more at this level of production.

Program aims

The FPFP program aims to provide participants with the underpinning knowledge, skills and practical tools to better manage their pastures and make two major profit driving decisions:

  1. How much home grown feed do I alocate to the herd to directly graze today?
  2. What amount of supplement do I need to offer the herd to be feeding ‘in the profit zone’?

These are the daily decisions that generally have greatest impact on farm profit.

Benefits

Participants from previous programs tell us that FPFP has helped them to:

  • Develop confidence to change the rotation before feed runs out or gets away from them
  • Better use the potential from nitrogen fertilisers
  • Manage the spring surplus better
  • Simplify pasture management instruction to workers and relief milkers.

This is a twelve month program, starting with two theory days and five on farm days throughout the year to help participants apply in practise the principals of profitable feeding. This includes a one off one-to–one consultation to support your pasture rotation decisions utilizing the Rotation Right Tool. To find out more or to register contact your local Regional Development Program.

To locate your local regional development program click on our Dairy regions page.

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