A $40 million research and development partnership between the Victorian Government and Dairy Australia is set to further enhance Victoria’s status as the powerhouse of Australia’s dairy industry.Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh said the agreement with Dairy Australia would fund a range of research and development projects designed to accelerate productivity growth in the state’s dairy sector.

Mr Walsh made the announcement this week during a visit to the Department of Environment and Primary Industries’ Centre for Dairy Excellence at Ellinbank in Gippsland.

“Under this historic five-year partnership, DEPI and Dairy Australia will each contribute $4 million a year over the next five years for targeted research to increase the industry’s productivity and make it more internationally competitive,” Mr Walsh said.

“This includes the creation of six new dairy research jobs at DEPI in Ellinbank, bringing more world-class scientists to the Gippsland region.

“The Victorian Coalition is targeting research into food and fibre sectors where the industry is prepared to partner in the funding or delivery of that work, to achieve the best outcome.

“This agreement will help our Victorian scientists find new ways to improve the industry’s feeding systems, lift reproductive performance in our herds and increase soil productivity.

“Our researchers will develop new and improved feeding systems to maximise this potential and enable industry to increase production without always needing to increase herd sizes.

“We also know that declining cow fertility is a significant issue in dairying, and getting cows back in calf quickly is important to maximise milk production.

“Our world-renowned dairy scientists at DEPI will focus on understanding and addressing the decline in cow fertility and increasing the amount of milk cows produce.”

Dairy Australia chair Geoff Akers said the $20 million contributed by Dairy Australia would seek to improve the profitability and resilience of Australian dairyfarmers and ensure Australia’s international competitiveness based on optimised pasture management.

“This will include a focus on maximising home-grown feed coupled with the efficient use of purchased feed inputs,” Mr Akers said.

The Victorian Government’s share of the funding will be provided as part of its Growing Food and Fibre initiative, which is providing an additional $125 million for research and development to boost on-farm productivity.
Source: FarmOnLine Magazine News