Fodder for the Future announcement

29 July, 2021

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Fodder for the future project to help Murray region farmers

Riverine Plains is pleased to be partnering with Murray Dairy in the delivery of the Fodder for the Future project, which is designed to help local dairy farmers, as well as hay, silage and grain producers, optimise both the quality and yield of a range of fodder species.

The project is a $1.6m investment over three years funded by the federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, through the Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program to assist agricultural communities adapt to a water-limited future.

“With less water available for pasture production in dairy systems, the use of silage and hay has become an increasingly important aspect of dairying across the region” explained Riverine Plains Project Officer, Jane McInnes.

“There is a science to making good quality hay and silage, and a really important part of the project is helping build the skills and knowledge of dairy, hay and grain farmers to increase both the quality and yield of fodder produced on-farm” said Ms McInnes.

To this end, six demonstration trials have been established across the Murray region of northern Victoria and southern NSW to look at the performance of a range of fodder types, including wheat, barley, oats, triticale and vetch.

“One of these sites has been sown by Riverine Plains at Boorhaman in north-east Victoria, with the trial evaluating an oats/vetch mix sown at two different sowing rates and dates” said Ms McInnes.

“Results from the Boorhaman demonstration, along with results from the other demonstration sites, will provide farmers and service providers with an opportunity to look at the performance of different fodder species under a range of climatic and market conditions” she added.

Establishing long-term relationships between dairy and fodder producers to increase risk management options, the diversification of income and resilience in business management is another key part of the project.

“Dairy businesses and grain and hay producers can all benefit from working together to produce higher yields of good quality fodder in the local region, and we look forward to helping farmers achieve this as the project progresses” added Ms McInnes.

Riverine Plains will host a Field Day as part of the project on 31 August, 2021, COVID permitting. Further details will be available from www.riverineplains.org.au closer to the date.

Murray Dairy Fodder for the Future delivery partners include Riverine Plains, Agriculture Victoria, Birchip Cropping Group, Irrigated Cropping Council, University of Melbourne and Southern Growers.

For further information, or to learn how to become involved, please contact Riverine Plains Project Officer, Jane McInnes on 03 5744 1713 or email jane@riverineplains.org.au.

This project was funded by the Australian Government under the Murray–Darling Basin Economic Development Program.

Riverine Plains is an independent farming systems group specialising in farmer-driven research and extension across north-east Victoria and southern New South Wales. For more information, or to become a member, please visit www.riverineplains.org.au

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More Information or Interview: Jane McInnes, Project Officer, Riverine Plains on 03 5744 1713