DairyUP brings industry together to build long-term resilience
Farmers, researchers, advisors and industry organisations are coming together under the Dairy UP banner, creating new opportunities to collaborate to build a dairy industry with the tools and resilience for long term prosperity.
The $16m, six-year program is overseen by the University of Sydney’s Dairy Research Foundation, under the leadership of Professor Sergio (Yani) Garcia.
The program is being delivered collaboratively by Sydney University, NSW DPI, Scibus and Dairy Australia. It includes a large portfolio of research, development and extension projects which collectively aim to unlock the potential of milk, the cow and water to increase productivity and profitability while derisking the industry and developing new markets.
Many of the projects are underpinned by network of partner farms who allow the research team access to a broad spectrum of farm and business data, including new data captured using innovative monitoring tools. Their involvement gives the Dairy UP team valuable insights into real world application of new practices, including the challenges and benefits.
Network farms receive regular visits from a project officer and insights on their farm data. Eleven partner farms have joined since Dairy Up began in mid-2021, and the team wants to add more in the coming six months.
“Our aim is to have up to 30 partner farms across the different NSW dairying regions and from a range of production systems,” Professor Garcia said.
Although Dairy UP is NSW-focussed, many of the project outcomes will be relevant to dairy farmers in other parts of Australia. Collaborative funding has also enabled expanded NSW delivery of a number of Dairy Australia initiatives such as Our Farm Our Plan, Dairy Future Climates, Farmer Capability, Understanding the Economics of Intensive Systems and Dairy Beef.
For example, Dairy UP has enabled the Dairy Businesses for Future Climates project to include a NSW case study farm to be added to existing case study farms in Gippsland, Northern Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania. The NSW farm is located on the mid north coast, supported by a regional working group of farmers and others led by Zita Ritchie at DPI NSW.
Only recently established, the regional working group will look at different options for the farm to adapt to future climate changes with detailed analysis undertaken by the University of Melbourne and a dairy farm business consultant.
Dairy NSW provides the regional link for Dairy Australia initiatives delivered in NSW. Paul van Wel, Dairy NSW regional manager, said the coming six months will see a range of extra activities delivered as part of Dairy UP.
“Look out for Employment Basics and Managing People sessions that will be offered through DA’s Farmer Capability project,” he said.
Our Farm, Our Plan is offering special interest groups such as Succession Planning, Young Farmers planning for farm ownership and Intensive workshops.
A suite of research and development projects run in parallel with Dairy UP’s extension activities.
These include projects to unlock the potential of Kikuyu pastures and projects to unlock the potential of the cow. There are also projects to develop better feed and cropping systems for intensive dairy production and ‘Designer Milk’ projects which are developing new products for new markets. Professor Garcia said Dairy Up provides a unique approach to underpin the industry’s future prosperity.
“Never before has the dairy industry in New South Wales had such a broad array of collaborative work co-ordinated under the one umbrella to provide the industry with the knowledge, tools and resources to adapt for the future. It is very exciting program,” he said.
More information: dairyup.com.au