Please Note: This is a 2 day event - 24 and 25 February 2021(you will be registering for the 2 days with overnight accommodation)
Dairy businesses in the Murray Dairy region are undergoing significant change to adapt to a rapidly changing operating environment characterised by volatility and uncertainty. Changes in the climate, markets and water policy have resulted in a shift away from what you would call a traditional pasture based system. The purpose of the tour is to get our next generation of farmers to see how individual farming operations have tackled these issues head on.
The itinerary will challenge the tour group and present us with a specific focus, being a SWOT analysis. Through this analysis we will be covering at each stop such things as, how farms are adapting to a volatile water market, successfully transitioning from different feeding systems, or making new technologies pay. The tour will encourage participants to reflect on the application of what they see and hear to their own business: What will work? What are the barriers and opportunities that have been presented? Why will or wont they pursue it? If pursuing it, what priority does it take?
Host Participant profile
Don & Meg Stewart from Yarrawalla have been dairy farming since the late 1980s and purchased a second dairy farm in 2011. In the past they have milked on one dairy and had a sharefarmer on their second farm but recently decided to merge both operations and have constructed a 100-cow maternity barn along with a dry feed lot capable of housing 800 cows and a concrete feed pad, with the aim of increasing per cow production, minimising waste and run a fully TMR based system.
Dehne & Sarah Vinnicombe from Calivil are 4th generation dairy farmers managing 850 effective Ha, milking 500 cows, producing around 620 kg MS per cow. They have recently built a 720 cow freestall barn to allow them to grow cow numbers, increase production, minimise feed waste and manage climatic extremes.
Greg & Megan Brentnall have farmed at Bamawm since early 2000s milking 300 cows on 226 useable Ha. Greg and Megan run an extremely profitable spring calving only dairy operation with the aim of keeping it simple.Bigger doesnt always mean better.
Steven & Deanne from Leitchville run a registered Holstein Herd milking 450 cows on600 ha. Steven built his first compost barn in Dec 2018 to combat the wet winters and hot dry Summers and with it being so successful they are currently in the process of building there second shed.
John & Leah Edwards from Leitchville have been on their farm since 2000, and currently milk 350 cows on 269 Ha. John runs a profitable high producing dairy herd using a hybrid PMR low infrastructure-based system.Cows graze annuals in the autumn, winter and spring and any excess feed is cut for silage. In the summer, the cows graze millet during the day and are lot fed hay and silage in the dried off paddocks.