Dairy Bio – A day on the green

Sep 22, 2017

The ability to access new technologies is essential for dairy farmers to keep the cost of production down.

DairyBio CRC and DataGene are two organisations that are steadily delivering solutions for the dairy industry in the fields of animal health, fertility, herd improvements and genetics.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) and the Australian Dairy Products Federation recently attended the Dairy Bio CRC Open Day in Hamilton, Victoria. More than 150 dairy and livestock farmers, and service providers from all over Australia attended the Open Day to view how research programs are changing the way dairy farmers innovate on-farm.

Hamilton’s Agriculture Victoria research farm is the site where all the large-scale, field-based pasture activities are located for DairyBio, and it is the best place to see how innovations will deliver game-changing increases in pasture yield, persistence and quality.

Throughout the day we were informed of the world’s largest precision-planted ryegrass filed trial, viewed drones and ground vehicles with advanced sensor technologies, walked through glasshouse facilities with the latest forage innovations and shown drought-tolerance trials which could be a game-changer for farmers in the future.

One of DairyBio CRC’s major achievements is the invention of a hybrid technique for ryegrass breeding. This will unlock a 20 per cent yield advantage in hybrid ryegrass varieties and also make it easier for plant breeders to use genomic selection and add novel endophytes in new pasture varieties. The current modeling suggests that hybrid ryegrass could deliver a benefit of $300 per hectare to Australian dairy farmers.

These viable solutions are a great example of how industry and research sectors work together to deliver some of the most positive and permanent changes to dairy herds and dairy pastures.

ADF recognises the potential productivity benefits of these new technologies and the need to innovate to compete on the global stage. The adoption of these technologies is going to become increasingly important to help farmers remain profitable, improve natural resource use and facilitate adaptation to ongoing business pressures.

The Australian dairy industry has achieved considerable improvements in farm productivity through the adoption of new technology and will continue to find new ways to be more efficient, and environmentally sustainable while still remaining profitable over the long term.

David Inall

ADF Chief Executive Officer

 

John McQueen to help lead ADF forward

Jun 20, 2016

ADF has welcomed back well respected former CEO, John McQueen in an interim role after the departure of Benjamin Stapley, who resigned last week.

As CEO for over 20 years, Mr McQueen stepped down in 2007 – however dairy was never far from his thoughts as a senior agriculture advisor to past Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard and recently in his independent consultancy.

Prior to his time at the helm of ADF, John held the position of CEO at the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS). John also spent time working with ABC-TV’s Science Unit, producing, researching and directing programs such as the first three series of Towards 2000.

Mr McQueen’s significant policy expertise, strong industry relationships and political connections are a very welcome addition to the team at ADF, which is working hard to support farmers through a period of unprecedented challenges.

Outcomes-focused, non-prescriptive is a mantra that John is proud of and will continue to be part his approach in his return to ADF.

 

 

Mr John Harlock appointed as ADHIS Chair

Dec 03, 2015

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Victorian dairy farmer, Mr John Harlock as the incoming Chairman of the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS). ADHIS is the national dairy genetic evaluation organisation that provides Australian Breeding Values (ABVs) and other objective information about the genetic merit of dairy cattle. As an ADF initiative, ADHIS receives the majority of its funding Dairy Australia through the Dairy Service Levy.

John operates a 350 cow dairy farm near Warrnambool with his wife, Shirley. John has held positions on a number of dairy industry boards including the Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Company, Genetics Australia, Western Herd Improvement and Warrnambool Co-operative Society, has also served on the ADHIS Board for eight years. As a member and former branch president of the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria, Mr Harlock has a strong understanding of the broader dairy industry and the issues faced by farmers.

ADHIS CEO, Daniel Abernethy thanked outgoing chair, Mr Adrian Drury who has decided to step down to focus on the adoption of new technology in his dairy business on the north coast of New South Wales.

“Adrian has lead ADHIS through one of the most sustained periods of intense development in the organisation’s thirty year history,” Mr Abernethy said. “Under his leadership ADHIS has seen the successful implementation of genomics, the launch of the Good Bulls Guide, a world-first Feed Saved ABV and the complete review of the National Breeding Objective.”

“We thank Adrian for his service and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

For more information contact ADHIS via (03) 8621 4200 or www.adhis.com.au.

 

 

Taking Dairy Bioscience to Canberra

Jun 12, 2015

Dairy bioscience took its place alongside the cochlear ear implant, aeronautics and global stock exchange surveillance software when major technology advances were showcased to the Prime Minister and other dignitaries last month.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) President Noel Campbell joined Dairy Futures CRC’s CEO David Nation and Chair Mike Ginnivan at Parliament House in Canberra for the annual Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Association Conference.

This year’s event, themed Australia 2040, celebrated 25 years of innovations by more than 40 CRCs to Australian leaders, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The conference included an innovation showcase, at which many of the 400 attendees, including ministers, parliamentarians, advisers and ambassadors, took the opportunity to better understand both the scale of innovation being undertaken by the dairy industry and how bioscience will make a real difference to dairy farm businesses through pasture and cattle breeding.

Mr Campbell, Dr Nation and Dr Ginnivan met the Prime Minister and discussed how Dairy Futures CRC is enhancing dairy productivity through pasture and herd improvements using genomics.

Dr Nation said that agriculture now sits beside medicine as a major driver of scientific progress in Australia.

“Dairy Futures CRC is a success story for industry-driven innovation. We have over-delivered on our original commitments and transformed dairy herd and pasture breeding in Australia.

“The effects of many of our innovations are already in farmers’ and commercial partners’ hands and we expect these will grow rapidly over the next 10 years.”

After the showcase, Dairy Futures CRC was delighted to join ADF in hosting The Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon and Senator Bridget McKenzie at a dinner in the Great Hall at Parliament House.

Other distinguished guests included the Prime Minister, keynote speaker and Minister for Industry and Science, The Hon. Ian Macfarlane, Australia’s Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, as well as ambassadors, high commissioners and senior officials from 15 countries.

Mr Macfarlane spoke of the great benefit CRCs have brought to research and development in Australia, delivering significant economic, environmental and social outcomes.

ADF looks forward to working with Dairy Futures to build the long term sustainability of farming practices, and will continue to advocate strongly for the positive innovations of transformational bioscience.    


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