ADHIS Update: 2016 Feeding the Genes results

Jun 13, 2016




The 2016 Feeding the Genes study, conducted by Dr John Morton, for ADHIS, investigated interactions between sire genetics and feeding systems on: 

  • milk solids production;
  • and the cow’s chance of lasting in the herd.

The milk production results were clear. The study found that in all feeding systems, the daughters of high index (BPI, HWI or TWI) sires produce more milk solids than daughters of low index sires. 

In terms of survival, the daughters of high index (BPI, HWI and TWI) sires last longer than daughters of low index sires in all pasture-based feeding systems. The scale of effects of sire index vary by index and feeding system:

The HWI has larger effects on longevity than BPI or TWI.

In low bail feeding systems the daughters of high BPI and HWI sires last longer than daughters of low index sires.

In moderate to high bail feeding, partial mixed ration (PMR) and hybrid feeding systems, the daughters of high index (BPI, HWI and TWI) sires last longer.

In total mixed ration (TMR) systems the daughters of high HWI sires last longer.

The findings support the take-home message that herd managers should select high index sires whose ABVs are aligned with the breeding objectives for their herd, regardless of their feeding system.

Read more about the results of this exciting research in this factsheet or contact Michelle Axford on 0427 573 330 or for more information.

Dairy pays tribute to Max Jelbart

Jun 06, 2016

The industry has bid farewell to dedicated dairy advocate, Max Jelbart who sadly passed away in June.

Mr Jelbart, who farmed successfully in Gippsland and Caldermade, was an admired intellectual who shared his time and knowledge freely.

During his career in dairy, Max served on various industry boards and committees and was a supplier of Murray Goulburn for 38 years – and a director since 2012.

A Director on the ADF Board for seven years and a past President of the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria’s South Gippsland Branch, Mr Jelbart was this year presented with an Order of Australia medal for his services to the dairy industry and the community.

A Nuffield Farming Scholar and member of the Nuffield Australia Investment Committee, Mr Jelbart was renowned for seeking out new ways to develop his capacity as a farmer as well as opportunities to give back.

“Max was extremely passionate about helping to foster the next generation in dairy, and ensuring they had the right tools to grow their businesses,” ADF President, David Basham said.

“His readiness to share his expertise with industry and the community alike was inspirational – he was a tireless advocate and will continue to be remembered very fondly.”

On behalf of staff and representative leaders past and present, ADF expressed its deepest sympathies to Mr Jelbart’s family.

Support for all farmers - no exceptions

Jun 03, 2016

Dairy industry leaders are united around a clear objective: to ensure every Australian dairyfarmer has the capability, tools and support to fully understand their individual business position, and to make decisions about their future based on sound evidence.

The release of Dairy Australia’s Situation and Outlook report last week reinforced that there are tough times ahead – but also that with collaboration, empathy and leadership, measured policy responses and effective support from government, consumers and our own supply chain, we can work towards a stronger future.

To prepare for the next season farmers must have earlier and clearer pricing signals, with a more equitable pricing system that better balances risk along the supply chain of farmers, processors and retailers. Without this, farmers and allied businesses will remain vulnerable. ADF and our state members continue to urge processors to urgently communicate their opening price as soon as possible.

Commonwealth and State Government support in Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia has bolstered programs to strengthen pathways for dairyfarmers and enhanced our ability to support the health and wellbeing of our own. We need detail on these announcements as soon as possible and have been pressing governments to release the criteria for the Dairy Recovery Concessional Loans scheme immediately.

As the industry’s peak body, our longer-term resolution includes significant policy ambitions. We need a more equitable pricing system that better balances risk along the supply chain of farmers, processors and retailers.

To help farmers here and now it is crucial that the full suite of support measures be available to farmers across all dairying regions, as processors begin the process of setting milk prices to be paid from July 1. All dairyfarmers, not only Murray Goulburn and Fonterra suppliers, must have access to these measures. ADF has made this clear in our discussions with Government.

We are aware that the current challenges concern sharefarmers and dairy farm employees too. Dairyfarmers who have previously been ineligible for government assistance due to their permanent residency status are also on our radar. Ensuring our industry can retain skilled, experienced employees is key to safeguarding our future – a message we are taking to Canberra, to ensure all aspects of our workforce, and their needs in this unprecedented circumstance are not forgotten.

As the details are made more clear we will contact our members. We encourage you to keep reaching out to ADF, as well as your state dairy farming organisation and regional development programs to access support.

David Basham

ADF President

Friday 20 May ADF Update

May 20, 2016

As debate rages about milk price shock in the public sphere, it is essential that we don’t let the facts about the current challenges our industry is facing go astray.

The decisions made by some major processors, in particular Murray Goulburn and Fonterra, in recent weeks have hit Australian dairy farmers hard.

We can’t change what has happened, but we can work to take charge of the things within our control – that means providing support to equip farmers with the tools they need to help manage their current situation and finding ways to prevent this issue in future.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) in collaboration with state members and Dairy Australia is providing targeted assistance. I encourage you all to take advantage of these resources by contacting your Regional Development Program (RDP).

Industry efforts will continue to support farmers during these challenging times, but in order for farmers to get through the short term ADF is seeking commitments from all parties to back our farmers during this financial crisis.

Ongoing discussion with all political parties, both state and national has delivered positive commitments from State government, particularly in Victoria and South Australia, to help farmers continue to operate.

We have met with Federal politicians this week to discuss support measures we need here and now, including one off grants for dairy farmers in exceptional circumstances, increased funding for the Rural Financial Counselling resources and streamlining access to existing government programs. A bipartisan approach to these solutions is essential.

Our priority remains delivering support for the short term but that doesn’t mean we aren’t considering solutions to prevent this issue from occurring again.

ADF has always advocated that there needs to be a better balance between retailers, processors and farmers. We are working with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to address these concerns. We were pleased to see that the ACCC’s Agricultural Engagement Unit heeded our call to investigate the processors actions in recent weeks and we will assist with that investigation where possible.

ADF is working with financial institutions to ensure farmers are treated fairly. The ANZ’s announcement is very encouraging, and we are confident other banks will take a balanced approach, if not provide a similar assistance package.

Farmers have been hit with a number of challenges but with the resilience we know this industry has, and the right support we will work through this and build a stronger future.

Simone Jolliffe

ADF President 

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