Feedbase fundamentals

By Country News on October 11, 2016

Maximise pasture potential for profitability.

By the time this edition of Dairy Direct is arriving in mail boxes I hope pastures across Gippsland are powering along and there is lots of top-quality silage around.

After a tough spring for much of Gippsland last year, fodder reserves on many farms are low. Many of us have seen grain and hay trucks rolling through our farm gates more often than we would like in the past 12 months.

Among the many painful lessons learnt last year was the importance of home grown-feed to the bottom line of farms. It didn’t rain at the right times for many Gippsland farmers, leaving a huge hole in feed budgets that was expensive to fill.

With — hopefully — a better spring this year, maximising pasture potential is the easiest way for farmers to start heading back into profitability.

GippsDairy is giving every farmer the opportunity to improve their feedbase skills, rolling out a string of Pasture Plus workshops before Christmas. I’d encourage every farmer who is looking to improve the performance of their business to attend one of these workshops and find out what others are doing to grow more grass.

There’s also more Tactics for Tight Times field days and Focus Farm events that will also have a heavy emphasis on strategies for filling silage pits and hay sheds before the summer months arrive. Have a look on the GippsDairy website to see what’s coming up in your area.

The Gippsland dairy industry has been built on a foundation of home-grown fodder and it’s still the cheapest and most efficient way to make milk. This year, more than ever, we need to get back to basics and concentrate on how we can meet the challenge of lower milk prices through improved pasture management.

— Graeme Nicoll

GippsDairy chair

By Country News on October 11, 2016

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