Fodder for the Future Project
Murray Dairy through Dairy Australia
This project is part of a $1.6m investment over 3 years funded by the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment through the Murray Darling Basin Economic Development Program.
- Fodder for the Future will look at how dairy farmers and fodder producers can optimise the quality and yield of a range of fodder species in the southern Murray Darling Basin.
- Demonstration trials will explore a range of fodder types across the Murray region of northern Victoria and Southern NSW.
- Fodder for the Future will offer both dairy and fodder producers the chance to explore fodder production strategies for their businesses, building networks and draw on knowledge and expertise from partnering organisations.
Fodder for the Future is designed to assist agricultural communities adapt to a water limited future. The use of fodder in dairying systems has become an increasingly important component of dairying across the Southern Murray Darling Basin (MDB) for both dairy businesses and fodder and grain producers. This project will highlight the value of ‘closed loop’ fodder production systems, which involve the transfer of high-quality fodder between businesses within the Southern MDB, whilst retaining the value of production locally. The project will also aim to increase the knowledge and skills of dairy farmers who are increasingly growing fodder to support their overall feedbase systems.
This project aims to be a cross-sectoral collaboration designed to support the development of complementary farming systems that optimise the use of both irrigated and dryland forages across the Southern MDB by:
- Increasing the quality and yield of fodder produced on both dairy, hay and grain farms and;
- Brokering long term relationships between dairy and hay producers to increase risk management options, diversification of income and resilience in business management.
As part of the project Riverine Plains has established a demonstration site at Boorhaman in the Riverine Plains region of north east Victoria. The trial is evaluating an oats/vetch mix sown at two different sowing rates and dates, with a variety of physiological growth measurements to be be taken throughout the growing season.
This site, along with results from additional trials established in other areas, will provide farmers and service providers an opportunity to look at economic and biophysical performance of different cereals and under a range of climatic and market conditions in Murray region. Trials include wheat, barley, oats, triticale, vetch, sorghum and maize, comparing the suitability of varieties within each species for fodder production.
Murray Dairy delivery partners also include Agriculture Victoria, Birchip Cropping Group, Irrigated Cropping Council, University of Melbourne and Southern Growers.
As part of the project, a Virtual Field Day was held on 9 September, 2021, which was recorded via Zoom and which is available below. (Note, we had a bit of tech hiccup and delay in getting a video to play during the meeting so viewers are advised to be aware of this/skip this part as it hasn’t been edited out).
Speakers on the day included Shane Byrne and Lisa Birrell (Murray Dairy) who gave a project overview, Catherine Marriott (Riverine Plains) spoke on forming partnerships between industries, Cassandra Schefe (AgriSci) spoke on pH, Luke Nagle (Advance Ag) spoke on growing crops for optimal fodder and David Lewis (Lallemand) discussed silage cutting.
The Fodder for the Future project is funded by the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, through the Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program.
This event was supported by the North East CMA through funding provided by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.