Dairy Directions – Analysing Farm Systems for the Future

Dairy farm businesses operate in an environment where changes in costs, prices, policy and climatic conditions can significantly affect productivity and profitability.

This project aims to provide robust analysis of the impact of changes in the operating environment on the profitability of different Victorian dairy farm systems.

It also investigates the options for farm businesses to deal with these changes.

The project began in the Murray Dairy region in 2001, and was expanded in 2007 to include the Gippsland and South-West regions.

The project uses a unique approach that combines case study farms, input from regional stakeholder committees, and biophysical, economic and risk modelling.

Project highlights and achievements include:

Analysis of four different farm types in northern Victoria/southern NSW (traditional family farm, modified family farm, high input farm and feedlot);

Analysis of the impact of 2002/2003 drought on farm performance;

The impacts of changes in water price and availability on farm profitability;

Analysis of the profitability of different labour saving options such as automatic cluster removers, automatic flood irrigation, once a day milking and subsurface drip irrigation;

Analysis of the options for a farm in the high rainfall region of Gippsland to remain profitable in the 5 to 10 year timeframe;

Analysis of a case study farm located in the lower rainfall dairying region of south-west Victoria, and the development options that would enable the business to remain profitable;

Investigation of the costs and benefits of different Northern Victoria Irrigation Renewal Project connection options for a dairy farm in northern Victoria; and

Comparison of the profitability of different feeding systems, specifically a comparison of grain fed in the dairy and hay in the paddock versus a partial mixed ration, under conditions of changing water availability.

A number of project fact sheets have been prepared by DPI Victoria.

Project Overview

Bulletin Update - February 2014

Bulletin Update - June 2012

Bulletin Update - February 2012

Bulletin Update - March 2011

Bulletin Update - November 2010

Bulletin Update - August 2010

Updated Sub Surface Drip Irrigation for Lucerne Production

Automatic Irrigation

Feasibility of Automatic Cluster Removers in the Dairy

Once a Day Milking - 2009 Milk Price Drop

Once a Day Milking - 2009/2010 Season

Sub Surface Drip Irrigation for Grazed Pasture Production

 Further information:

For further information contact please contact Bill Wales at DPI Ellinbank on (03) 5624 2227 or bill.wales@dpi.vic.gov.au