Pasture and dairy systems in spotlight

By Dairy News

FEED ACCOUNTS for more than 50 per cent of cost in any production system and unlocking the true feed base potential of pasture and intensive dairy systems is one of the questions proposed at this years’s annual Dairy Research Foundation Symposium.

Held in Bega from July 10 to 11, the symposium is the Dairy Research Foundation’s signature event, recognised throughout the Australian dairy industry as a showcase of science.

Chair professor Yani Garcia said it was an event not to be missed, especially considering every dairy farmer had an interest in pasture.

“An efficient home-grown feed base can have a massive impact on the bottom line of individual farms, achieving that is not an easy task,” Dr Garcia said.

“It is not just about the forages, but also the water and nutrients to grow them and their conversion into milk.”

The symposium includes guest speakers from around the world, with differing production systems. Dr David Chapman from DairyNZ is a true world expert in feed base research while Dr Edwin Kreykes is a renown veterinarian consultant in Iowa, specialising in milking management.

These international speakers will be joined by Australian professionals and top dairy farmers from a range of production systems including pasture-based and TMR.

Farm Day will be at Cedar Grove, Angledale, where Ken Kimber and his family will showcase their advanced farming practices. The family runs an 800-cow TMR — home-grown feed produced under a biological farming system plus purchased concentrates.

Consultants and researchers will lead an interactive question-and-answer session on topics ranging from irrigation to nitrogen to adoption of technologies to milking management.

Other features of the event include:

  • Young dairy farmers innovation panel: Ashleigh Road, Andrew D’Arcy, Will Russell
  • Dairy feed base in the future environment: David Chapman, Dairy NZ
  • Quality milking for quality milk: Edwin Kreykes, GPS Dairy Consulting, United States
  • Managing feed base in TMR systems, Brad Fischer, Meningie West, South Australia
  • Rural Adversity Mental Health Program, Jennie Kelsokie (Women in Dairy breakfast)
  • Microwave heat treatment of forage: Md Safiqur Rahaman Shishir, University of Queensland
  • Virtual fencing: Patricia Colusso, University of Sydney
  • Automatic lameness scoring: John Gardenier, University of Sydney

For more information or to register to attend the symposium, visit