Fodders Increase Productivity and Profitability

AUSTRALIA - Perennial ryegrass still provides dairy farmers with opportunities to lift productivity and profitability on their farm, a Project 3030 trial has revealed.
calendar icon 20 March 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

The six year trial in South West Victoria, and partner farms in North East VIC, Gippsland and SA found understanding the fundamentals of perennial ryegrass management was the most reliable path to increased farm profits.

An example of the project results was the economic performance of the Project 3030 farmlets at Terang, South West Victoria that averaged a 12 per cent return on assets, putting the operations in the top two per cent in the region. The project also found milk solids production per cow was up to 618 kg, on a diet consisting of 75 per cent forages.

roject 3030 Chairman and Yarra Valley farmer, Tyran Jones, said farmers would be interested in the new data the trial generated particularly on crops. How the crops could be included in the forage system and the gains to be made from perennial ryegrass would also help farmers, he said.

“In the commercial sector there is demonstrated potential to improve the performance and profitability of the existing perennial ryegrass system,” Mr Jones said.

The trial found alternate forage species have specific roles in perennial ryegrass-based production systems, by complementing the seasonal pattern of ryegrass production. There are opportunities to complement the existing feedbase at key periods when home grown forage may be in short supply. Examples include:

  • in the perennial ryegrass pasture renovation phase or on areas of land not best suited to perennial ryegrass.

Project 3030 also enhanced the ‘body of knowledge’ about alternate forages, including DM yield potential, seasonal pattern of production, forage nutritive characteristics and management guidelines. This information is critical for selecting the best forage option to use.

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