DairyTas Focus Farms

Tasmanian Focus Farms

The national Focus Farm program has been running in the DairyTas region since 2014.

This program benefits participants and interested farmers and communities in Tasmania and nationally. The Focus Farms program has created a growing network of dairy farms across Australia that are now models of whole farm systems and profitability. 

How does this program benefit Tasmanian dairy farmers?

Tasmanian Focus Farms provide deep insight into local farming methods and national industry-standard business practices that help increase efficiencies and a better work/life balance for Tasmanian dairy farmers. On every Focus Farm, the bottom line is always in focus.

Over the two–year project term, Tasmanian and national dairy farmers review and implement strategies to improve the farming business bottom line and balance priorities.

Farm Open Days give local and visiting dairy farmers the chance to talk to the Focus Farm farmers and community. Honest and open measures of progress are discussed and documented – allowing dairy farmers and community members to see real progress, real issues and understand the rationale behind decisions and outcomes.

To find out more about Focus Farms open days or register your interest in the program, please contact:

tel: 03 6432 2233

Check out the latest posts from the Tasmanian Dairy Focus Farm Facebook page.

The Greenacre and Bradley Families

Rosemount Ag - The Tasmanian Dairy Focus Farm from 2020 - 2022

Rosemount Ag in Cressy is the DairyTas Focus Farm 2020 - 2022

Farm background

Rosemount Ag. is owned in a joint venture between Rob and Jo Bradley and James and Sophie Greenacre, Rosemount is located near Cressy. Currently milking approximately 1,250 dairy cows producing 500kgMS/cow on 550 hectares of land of which approximately 330 hectares is under centre pivot irrigation.

Each focus farm has their own focus for the 2 years. For the Bradley’s and Greenacres, they will be working towards a cost of production of $4.20/kg MS, while exceeding Best Management Practices in animal welfare, environmental stewardship, and staff satisfaction.

Working with the Bradley’s and Greenacres throughout the project will be Jeremy Savage, a dairy consultant from Canterbury, New Zealand who works closely with Lincoln University Dairy Farm. Jeremy will be working closely with local Fonterra Farm Source Paddock Specialist Richard Rawnsley, who will be the Focus Farms on-the-ground consultant.

Farm challenges and goals

To optimise farm profitability and resilience while having a sustainable system. Staff and cows are paramount to our farm and so we didn’t want to progress any goal that impinged on this.

Specific challenges and goals for Rosemount Ag include:

  1. Cost of Production: Minimising cost of production to maximise farm profitability. (CoP $<4.20kgMS sustainably)
  2. Supplements: Optimise grain feeding to maximise pasture utilized t/ha. (>14t/ha)
  3. Heifers: Decrease calf losses and hit growth targets of ave 325kg at joining and 450kg at calving.
  4. Systems: Utilise and build systems to increase repeatability and decrease key man risk
  5. Fertiliser: Increase yield of grass grown per kg of fertilizer applied
  6. Support area: Improve utilisation of current support area.

Farm facts and figures

  • 500ha farm with 350ha under pivot.
  • Grown from 190ha irrigated to 350ha in 2.5yrs
  • Cow numbers increased from 780 to 1250 in same period
  • Herd put together over last 7 years; over 550 cows purchased in 2 yrs
  • Milked through a 9y.o. 54 unit dairy
  • Longest walk for cows is over 3km one way
  • James/Sophie have been at Rosemount for 3 years
  • Equity partnership commenced in 2020
  • Currently have 9 staff on different loadings, 3 core staff have been with us for nearly 3 years, retention and wellbeing is important to the business.


Farm walk notes
Every 1-2 weeks James completes a farm walk which enables him to provide an update of farm data and feed wedges that is then shared on the Tasmanian Dairy Focus Farm Facebook page.

Virtual farm visits
We host Virtual Farm Visits on the first Tuesday of each month at 12.30pm. Farm manager, James Greenacre, Farm Consultant Jeremy Savage and Fonterra Paddock Specialist Richard Rawnsley discuss how the farm has performed over the last month, as well as discussing the challenges James and the team have faced and what the aim is for the current month. This “Virtual Visit” updates are available on Facebook LIVE. Visit the Tasmanian Dairy Focus Farm Facebook page to view them. 

Monthly webinars
In addition to the Virtual Visits, the Focus Farm runs a webinar on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 12.30pm. Each webinar covers a different topic that relates to the focus farm. Upcoming webinars are listed on the DairyTas Event Calendar.

The Field family, Montagu

The DairyTas Focus Farm from 2017 to 2019 was run by Dave and Jane Field, based in Circular Head, North West Tasmania.

The Field farm in Montagu is the DairyTas Focus Farm 2017 to 2019.

Farm background

Dave and Jane have been farming in Tasmania for two years and progressed through the dairy industry in New Zealand before coming to Tasmania. The Fields wanted to join the program for the opportunity it offered:

“We were new to Tasmania and knew that it would be really different to farming in New Zealand, we thought it was a fantastic opportunity to help us through the transition period and to give something back to industry.” - Jane Field

They're both graduates of Lincoln University, moving up through the dairy industry by managing farms, 50/50 share-milking and then moving into farm ownership in 2006. They purchased a dairy farm to develop and subsequently bought two grazing blocks located at Murchison near the top of the South Island, NZ. Their dairy farm in NZ is currently managed by a share-farmer.

Farm challenges and goals

Specific challenges and goals for the Field Family include:

  • To operate a simple pasture-based system
  • Focus on growing and harvesting more pasture by
    • increasing soil fertility
    • irrigation
    • pasture species
    • cow genetics and management.

Farm facts and figures

At the start of the project, the Field's herd comprised Holstein and cross bred cows. The emphasis has been on gaining genetic merit and increasing the proportion of cross bred cows in the herd. The focus then moved to increasing pasture utilisation and adapting to the once-a-day milking system, which has been in operation on-farm since May 2017.

An overview of the farm's productivity at the beginning of the project:

Total area


Dairy platform

Dairy platform = 450 effective hectares + grazing/support block = 300 effective hectares

250 ha under irrigation

Herd numbers

Split calving system
Autumn calving: 500 cows
Spring calving: 900 cows

Milking numbers

Peak milk 1400 cows this year.

Milk production
(kg milk solids)

Aiming for 525,000kg milk solids in 2017–18
milking on a once-a-day milking system.

Herd – breed/size

The herd is made up of Holstein and cross bred cows.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI) reporting

Every two weeks, the Field family and their project consultant Basil Doonan report on how the farm is tracking against the Field's KPIs. KPI data includes:

  • pasture
  • animals
  • environment
  • people
  • production.

The latest KPI data is listed below, with fortnightly reports available as downloads.

Final report - "And that's a wrap"

The 2017–2019 Tasmanian Dairy Focus Farm project has concluded. Read the Field family Focus Farm final report.

Report iconReport

DairyTas Focus Farm Report 2019

Septermber 2019 season report from the DairyTas Focus Farm project.
Industry Reports

End of 2017–18 review and wrap up

Reach the DairyTas Field family Focus Farm review of the 2017–2018 season here.

Report iconReport

DairyTas Focus Farm 2018 Season Report

September 2018 season wrap up report from the DairyTas Focus Farm project.
Industry Reports

KPI tracking data at 16 September 2019 (end of 24–month project)

Key Performance Indicators (from graph)



Production/cow (kg MS/cow)



Production/ha (kg MS)



Average pasture cover (kg DM/ha)



Condition score (1–5)



Bulk milk cell count (cells/ml)



Secondary Indicators (from report)



Pasture/cow (kg DM/day)


Grain/cow (kg DM/cow)


Silage offered/cow (kg DM/cow)


Heifer weight (kg)


Calf weight (kg)




Kg MS/cow/day




Kg MS/day


Kg MS/ha




Growth rate (kg DM/ha)


Leaf emergence rate (days)


Grazing area (ha)


Milking platform


Grazing block


Milk production




Kg Milk Solids/ha


Calf milk

No milk taken from milking herd

Bulk cell count

240,000 (cells/ml)

Average pasture cover

2,205kg DM/ha

Growth rate

47kg DM/ha

Leaf emergence rate

15 days on a 30 day rotation

Milker’s rotation


Pre-grazing cover

2,900kg DM/ha

Post-grazing cover

1,500kg DM/ha

Cow diet

Offering 10kg pasture, 5kg silage and 5kg pellets





Fertiliser application


N:P:K:S (kg/ha)

35:2:7:8 on 50% of the milking platform and 10% of the grazing block

Other information





Growth rate has increased from 30kg DM/ha to 47kg DM/ha.
Rotation length is 30 days on the milking platform.
Pasture cover has increased from 2050kg DM/ha to 2205Kg DM/ha.
Silage was fed at 5kg DM/cow/day over the past fortnight.


Somatic cell count is up at 240,000 cells/ml average over the past fortnight.
Cow condition score is steady at 4.7.
452 heifers and wagyu calves reared to date.


Production per cow has increased to 1.4kg MS/cow/day.




We have had 98mm of rain over the past fortnight.
The paddocks are less waterlogged now with temperature and pasture growth increasing.

The Crowden family, Western Creek

Marcus and Zed Crowden own and manage a robotic milking dairy farm at Western Creek in the Central North of Tasmania.

Farm background

The Crowdens converted their farm to robotics three years ago while also running a conventional milking farm of 300 cows. The business is high input, high output and high profit, driven by high levels of productivity and labour efficiency.

Farm challenges and goals

Specific challenges and goals for the Crowden family during the Focus Farms project included:

  • To demonstrate that Automatic Milking Systems (AMS) can be run profitably in a pasture-based feeding system.
  • To debunk some of the myths around AMS.
  • To share the family business goals and ambition for growth with those in the dairy industry.
  • To work with a consultant in order to continue growing the business.

Farm facts and figures

An overview of the farm's productivity at the beginning of the project:

Farm details


Milking platform (ha)


Number of robots


Area irrigated (ha)


Peak cow numbers

225 cows

Stocking rate (cows/milking ha)


Calving start date

August 7

Annual milk production (kg milk solids)

99,251 (kg milk solids)

Feed details


Annual pasture utilisation (t DM/ha)

13.5t DM/ha

Grazed pasture per cow (t DM/cow)

3.1t DM/cow

Concentrates per cow (t DM/cow)

1.6t DM/cow

Hay, silage and other feed per cow (t DM/cow)
per season

1.0t DM/cow

Total feed per cow, 2014–15 season


Business details


Annual cost of production ($/kg MS)*


Return on assets


Cows milked per full-time equivalent


*Annual cost of production includes non-cash costs such as depreciation and imputed people. Farm working expenses is budgeted at $4/kgMS.

The Jones family, Kayena

Limberlost Dairy in Kayena is owned by equity partners and managed by Peter and Jo Jones.


Farm background

Peter and Jo are responsible for the day-to-day management of the farm with larger decisions made by all parties involved in the farm business.

Farm challenges and goals

Specific goals and objectives for the Jones family during the Focus Farms project included:

  • To better utilise the resource base of the farm – pastures, water, land, labour and stock – in order to achieve 'industry-best' profitability.
  • To use a farming business model that is sustainable, providing a good income to all parties involved, which is environmentally and socially responsible.
  • To provide a workplace where staff feel valued, challenged, rewarded and provide opportunities for career development.
  • To achieve a lifestyle that allows for a balance between work and family.

Farm facts and figures

An overview of the farm's productivity at the beginning of the project:

Farm details



Milking platform (ha)



Area irrigated



Peak cow numbers

780 cows

770 cows

Stocking rate (cows/milking ha)



Calving start date

February 5

February 5

Annual production (kg milk solids)



Feed details*



Annual pasture utilisation (t DM/ha)

9.4t DM/ha

9.0t DM/ha

Grazed Pasture per cow (t DM/cow)

2.7t DM/cow

2.7t DM/cow

Concentrates per cow (t DM/cow)

1.2t DM/cow

1.3t DM/cow

Hay, silage and other feed per cow (t DM/cow)

1.3t DM/cow

1.5t DM/cow

Total feed per cow



Business details**



Annual cost of production ($/kg MS)



Return on assets for 2013/14 season



Cows milked per full-time equivalent



*Information taken from 2013–14 Dairy Business of the Year data.
**Information taken from 2014–15 Dairy Farm Monitor Project data.

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