A complementary forage system can be used to intensify production on irrigated dairy farms in the Hunter Valley

Michael Campbell, Sergio Yani Garcia, Peter Wynn

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Irrigated pasture based dairy farms in the Hunter Valley are under pressure from several sources including the potential of reduced water availability, more variable milk price, increase in concentrate price and increase in land values. As a result of these pressures, dairy farmers in the region have had limited options to purchase more land or increase concentrate feeding. This leaves many dairy farmers to question how to increase production from the land that they currently manage.

To address this issue a modelling study was conducted that investigated the biophysical production, economic and business risk of using a complementary forage system (CFS), leasing land or increasing purchased feed to boost production on four commercial dairy farms used as case studies. The CFS comprised of a Maize (Zea mays L), Forage Rape (Brassica napus L) and Field Pea (Pisum sativum L) grown in rotation to suit the individual case study farm requirements. The use of an increase in purchased feed and a CFS resulted in an increase in physical production and operating surplus on a per hectare basis compared to the base farm.

Leasing land does not appear to be a viable option to increase operating surplus based on the assumptions used in this model. When the Business Risk of the farm system changes were modelled the CFS resulted in a higher operating surplus at any given probability for all four case study farms compared to the other options.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventAustralasian Dairy Science Symposium 2016 - The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 16 Nov 201618 Nov 2016
https://web.archive.org/web/20160308200056/http://adssymposium.com.au/ (Conference website)
http://www.publish.csiro.au/AN/issue/8278 (Full papers from Australasian Dairy Science Symposium 2016, published 2017)


ConferenceAustralasian Dairy Science Symposium 2016
Abbreviated titleScience-based Solutions for Australasian Dairy Industries
Internet address


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