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 Dairy farmers continue to improve productivity through innovation

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17 November 2010

A report released by ABARE–BRS today shows that Australian dairy farmers continue to be innovative in adopting new technologies and management practices in response to their changing operating environment.

On releasing Australian dairy industry: technology and management practices 2008-09, ABARE–BRS Deputy Executive Director, Mr Paul Morris said ABARE–BRS has been surveying dairy farmers since 1991–92 about their use of on–farm technology and management practices.

“This long time series of data provides a good insight into the changes occurring on dairy farms and how farmers use new technologies and practices to improve their productivity,” Mr Morris said.

“Milk production per cow has increased around 50 per-cent since 1991–92, and a key contributor to this increase has been better feed management practices, as well as improvements in shed and equipment capacity.

“Average milk vat capacity on farms has increased over three-fold since 1991–92.

“The survey found that dairy farmers also continue to make good use of training and information events, with discussion groups and field days the most popular activities in 2008–09”.

The results also highlighted the increase in advice being provided to farmers, such as on fertiliser use, from private sector consultants and input suppliers.

Funded by Dairy Australia and conducted between July and November 2009, the survey finds over half of dairy farmers are likely to make changes to their existing technologies and management practices over the next year.

A high priority for many farmers was improving their grazing and pasture management practices.

For media inquiries contact 02 6272 3232 or email media@daff.gov.au.

To download the report, visit the ABARE–BRS website.