Study Results from D.F. Chapman et al Provide New Insights into Animal Production Science (Increasing home-grown forage consumption and profit in non-irrigated dairy systems. 1. Rationale, systems design and management)
By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Science Letter -- A new study on Science is now available. According to news reporting originating in Warrnambool, Australia, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "The profitability of dairy businesses in southern Australia is closely related to the amount of feed consumed from perennial ryegrass-dominant pasture. Historically, the dairy industry has relied on improvements in pasture productivity and utilisation to support profitable increases in stocking rate and milk production per hectare."
The news reporters obtained a quote from the research, "However, doubts surround the extent to which the industry can continue to rely on perennial ryegrass technology to provide the necessary productivity improvements required into the future. This paper describes the design and management of a dairy systems experiment at Terang in south-west Victoria (780-mm average annual rainfall) conducted over four lactations (June 2005-March 2009) to compare the production and profitability of two forage base options for non-irrigated dairy farms. These options were represented by two self-contained farmlets each milking 36 mixed-age, autumn-calving Holstein-Friesian cows at peak: (1) well managed perennial ryegrass pasture (`Ryegrass Max', or `RM'); and (2) perennial ryegrass plus complementary forages (`CF') including 15% of farmlet area under double cropping with annual species (winter cereal grown for silage followed by summer brassica for grazing on the same land) and an average of 25% of farmlet area in perennial pasture based on tall fescue for improved late spring-early summer feed supply. The design of these systems was informed by farming systems models (DairyMod, UDDER and Redsky), which were used to estimate the effects of introducing different forage options on farm profitability. The design of the CF system was selected based on modelled profitability increases assuming that all forage components could be managed to optimise forage production and be effectively integrated to optimise milk production per cow. Using the historical `average' pasture growth curve for the Terang district and a mean milk price of $3.71 per kg milk solids, the models estimated that the return on assets of the RM and CF systems would be 9.4 and 15.0%, respectively. The objectives of the experiment described here were to test whether or not such differences in profitability could be achieved in practice, and to determine the risks associated with including complementary forages on a substantial proportion of the effective farm area."
According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "Key results of the experiment are presented in subsequent papers."
For more information on this research see: Increasing home-grown forage consumption and profit in non-irrigated dairy systems. 1. Rationale, systems design and management. Animal Production Science, 2014;54(3):221-233. Animal Production Science can be contacted at: Csiro Publishing, 150 Oxford St, PO Box 1139, Collingwood, Victoria 3066, Australia. (CSIRO Publishing - www.publish.csiro.au; Animal Production Science - www.publish.csiro.au/nid/72.htm)
Our news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained by contacting D.F. Chapman, Dept. of Primary Ind, Warrnambool, Vic 3280, Australia. Additional authors for this research include J. Hill, J. Tharmaraj, D. Beca, S.N. Kenny and J.L. Jacobs (see also Science).
Keywords for this news article include: Warrnambool, Australia, Australia and New Zealand, Science
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