Dairying Reaps Benefits Of Soil Funding

AUSTRALIA - Dairy farmers across Australia will benefit from a natural resource management project undertaken by Dairy Australia with Federal Government funding.
calendar icon 6 October 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

Nutrient use efficiency and managing soil acidity will be the target of the project awarded to Dairy Australia under the $325,000 funding provided by the federal government’s Caring for our Country scheme.

A national two-year project will see about 130 dairy farmers and 50 service providers developing guidelines on nutrient management. The guidelines will be showcased on at least 30 dairy farms nationally.

“There are three parts to the project,” said Cathy Phelps, Dairy Australia’s Natural Resource Management Programme Manager. “The first step is to develop national nutrient management guidelines in partnership with farmers, advisors, fertiliser sellers and technical experts."

“The guidelines will then be piloted in at least three dairy regions to ensure they meet the needs of farmers and farm advisors."

“The third component involves on-farm demonstration of best practice nutrient management.”

Outputs from the project will be made available through a web-based dairy nutrient management toolkit.

Ms Phelps explained the industry had long-sought a set of national guidelines for nutrient management and how to integrate them into farmers’ decision making.

“We need industry-endorsed national guidelines giving clear, consistent messages about best-practice soil and nutrient management.”

She said that this initiative was an example of the dairy industry’s national RD&E framework at work. This national planning process, known as Dairy Moving Forward, encourages collaboration and information sharing across organisations.

Ms Phelps leads the Dairy Moving Forward Natural Resource Management and Climate Change portfolio.

She said that a wide range of organisations had contributed to the planning of this project.

This is one of the many examples of the dairy service levy at work. Farmers receive a benefit of $3 for every $1 invested by Dairy Australia on their behalf.

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