The Agronomy Network met for the second time in Echuca on Friday 9th December to hear about and discuss past and current agronomic and irrigation research occurring in our region.
The group heard from Agriculture Victoria Senior Research Scientists, Kevin Kelly and Mike Morris, on current and past research in the agronomic and irrigation hydrology space. Also on the agenda was an introduction to the Forage Value Index project by Ron Prestige from Dairy Australia. The session finished with a question and answer session with University of Southern Queensland Researcher, Geoff Cockfield, who was keen to understand the agronomists' perspective on what sustained and improved feedbase performance in the dairy industry might look like for our region. Geoff's work is part of a wider research project across Victoria funded by the Gardiner Foundation.
See below for a summary of the key messages from the day. The full presentations can be accessed here:
Accelerating Change Performance Innovation Teams met in November and December. A significant amount of the discussion focused on the group's summer feeding strategies, characterised by limited water availability and high prices.
Kelvin Matthews and Don Stewart are already seeing the results from improved data collection on farm. The nutritive sampling Accelerating Change has been conducting has revealed that their lucerne pasture was of excellent quality, much higher than the PIT group expected (ME 10.7, CP 29.4%, NDF 36.6% and ME 11.5, CP 33.2% & NDF 34.2%). Working with their nutritionist Andre Nel from Ridley's, they worked out their cows were receiving an extra 30 ME per day than required, and body condition score was increasing over time. Armed with this information they have reduced their grain intake by 1kg in the dairy, saving approximately 27c per cow per day. Over 500 cows this is a significant saving. Body condition is now being maintained. The herd will be monitored over ti...