Fodder for the Future

Murray Dairy are partnering with the grain and fodder industries to deliver six winter forage demonstration sites across the northern Victoria and southern Riverina dairy areas. This two year, $1.6M project has been funded by the Federal Government under the Murray–Darling Basin Economic Development Program.

The project aims to support dairy businesses at a time when increasing numbers of farms have moved away from relying on perennial pastures and are now growing more winter and summer crops.

Murray Dairy have joined forces with six other organisations to establish trial and demonstration sites that will showcase a range of winter crops and management strategies to maximise yield, quality, and profitability. They are partnering with Agriculture Victoria at Tatura, Birchip Cropping Group at Mitiamo, the Irrigated Cropping Council at Kerang, Melbourne University at Dookie, Southern Growers at Finley and Riverine Plains near Rutherglen.

Project Overview

The Fodder for the Future project is a cross-sectoral collaboration designed to support the development of complementary farming systems that optimise the use of both irrigated and dryland resources across the southern Murray-Darling Basin, and is designed to assist agricultural communities adapt to a water limited future. Led by Murray Dairy, the established six partners for the project are Agriculture Victoria, Birchip Cropping Group, Irrigated Cropping Council, Melbourne University, Riverine Plains and Southern Growers.

This project will assist communities to develop a multitude of strategies to maintain and increase economic activity in their regions through a participatory approach. The project is working directly with 400-500 farmers and service providers to deliver a range of communication and engagement activities, extension resources, workshops and other activities designed to share information, leverage existing investment, and broker new knowledge to assist communities adapt to a water limited future.

Fodder for the Future aims to deliver a comprehensive set of activities that will bring together dairy farmers and fodder producers, as well as many community members and service providers around central meeting sites, as well as provide engagement and communication opportunities between all targeted communities and to develop information sharing networks and support.

These localised trial/meeting sites will engage people through a participatory approach, using real life examples of fodder production to deliver new information on how to select and manage winter cereal varieties. The meeting sites will provide a physical hub to leverage a range of extension materials, resources and education activities to assist farmers to improve their knowledge and skills with the aim of increasing the quality and quantity of fodder grown through the Southern Murray-Darling Basin.

Project Objectives:

  1. To increase collaboration, coordination and information sharing between communities and industries within the Southern Murray-Darling Basin.
  2. To increase the quality and quantity of fodder produced in the Murray-Darling Basin, through realising: a. increased water use efficiency, b. water productivity and return on water applied, c. as well as reduced reliance on irrigation when water availability is low.
  3. To increase risk management, diversity and resilience of farm businesses by creating long term complementary relationships between fodder producers and end users within the basin.
  4. To enable the increase of economic activity that supports regional communities to operate in a variable water future.

For further information on the Fodder for the Future project contact Murray Dairy on (03)5833 5312 or at

  • Fodder for Future-BookletPDF1.2 MB

Media Release

Murray Dairy

Fodder for the Future grain and fodder trial site updates

Murray Dairy have partnered with the grain and fodder industries to deliver six winter forage demonstration sites across the northern Victoria and southern Riverina dairy areas as part of the Fodder for the Future project.
Fodder for the Future BTG trial site

Trial Updates

  • Fodder for the Future_Year 1 Winter 2021 Trial updatesPDF1.34 MB

Trial Sites

As part of the project, six demonstration/meeting sites have been set up to provide ‘touch and feel’ engagement on the economic and biophysical performance of different cereal varieties under a range of climatic and market conditions in the southern Murray-Darling Basin region. The demonstrations include wheat, oats, barley, vetch, with some sites focusing on faba beans, and some on canola. Other trials include nitrogen application, Sowing rates and dates as well as Irrigation and dryland comparisons.

These sites have been organised through partnerships with Agriculture Victoria, Birchip Cropping Group, Irrigated Cropping Council, University of Melbourne, Riverine Plains and Southern Growers.

Agriculture Victoria

Agriculture Victoria works to grow and protect profitable, sustainable farms in thriving regional and rural communities across Victoria. Agriculture Victoria Research delivers transformational impact on productivity in Victoria's key agricultural industries and protects industries and access to markets through genetic, biosecurity, farm systems and resource use research and innovation.

Research and innovation in major industries, including dairy, grains and horticulture, as well as in emerging bioindustries, is delivered through multi-disciplinary research collaborations with industry that accelerate and enhance productivity impacts. Innovations in biosecurity protect Victoria’s thriving agriculture sector through advanced diagnostics and the maintenance of specialised insect and plant pathogen reference collections.

  • Agriculture Victoria trial site - June 2021PDF275.17 KB
  • Agriculture Victoria trial site - August 2021PDF310.57 KB
  • Agriculture Victoria trial site - October 2021PDF242.47 KB

Birchip Cropping Group

Birchip Cropping Group Inc. (BCG) is a not-for-profit agricultural research and extension organisation led by farmers from the Wimmera and Mallee regions of Victoria. Aiming to improve the prosperity of farmers and agricultural communities through farmer-driven innovation, research and extension.

BCG has been integral in the adoption of new agronomic technologies and farming practices; and continues to help farmers make decisions, develop risk management strategies, increase profits and operate sustainable farming operations.

  • Birchip Cropping Group trial site - June 2021PDF296.19 KB
  • Birchip Cropping Group trial site - August 2021PDF283.91 KB
  • Birchip Cropping Group trial site - October 2021PDF250.19 KB

Irrigated Cropping Council

The Irrigated Cropping Council (ICC) is a farmer driven, not for profit, independent research organisation, committed to providing the latest research in irrigated grain production and connecting growers with local, state and national research and extension.

Collaborating with key research/extension organisations and funding bodies ensures growers across the region have access to the latest information in irrigated grain production systems to enable them to make informed decisions about best practice and drive profitable, sustainable farm systems.

  • Irrigated Cropping Council trial site - June 2021PDF304.13 KB
  • Irrigated Cropping Council trial site - August 2021PDF422.36 KB
  • Irrigated Cropping Council trial site - October 2021PDF705.76 KB

University of Melbourne

University of Melbourne Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences is a research-intensive faculty dedicated to the advancement of societal, animal and environmental wellbeing through cross-disciplinary and collaborative research spanning agricultural, food, veterinary and biomedical sciences.

The University of Melbourne Sustainable Agricultural Production research group including the Dookie campus offers expertise in areas of agronomy, plant physiology, plant genetics, crop and forage growth, livestock nutrition and production, integrated farming systems and new technologies to simultaneously enhance productivity and ecosystem health.

  • University of Melbourne trial site - June 2021PDF282.66 KB
  • University of Melbourne trial site - August 2021PDF399.44 KB
  • University of Melbourne trial site - October 2021PDF405.37 KB

Riverine Plains

Riverine Plains Inc is an independent farming systems group dedicated to improving the productivity of broadacre farming systems in north-east Victoria and southern New South Wales. The group was established during 1999, and their membership is drawn from the eastern NSW–Victoria border region, known as the Riverine Plain.

Riverine Plains Inc specialises in farmer-driven research and extension that delivers on-the-ground benefits to members. We believe that providing quality information, leading in research and sharing ideas with our members is key to achieving more progressive and resilient farming communities. And we believe strongly in our motto of “Farmers Inspiring Farmers”

  • Riverine Plains trial site - June 2021PDF286.96 KB
  • Riverine Plains trial site - August 2021PDF337.89 KB
  • Riverine Plains trial site - October 2021PDF331.05 KB

Southern Growers

Southern Growers is a not-for-profit grower group servicing the Southern Murray Valley in New South Wales. The group was developed in 2008 in an attempt to respond to the lack of Government agronomic services in the area. As the community recovered from drought Southern Growers has slowly built momentum and today helps local grower’s access information and research in irrigated farming systems.

The group aims to drive innovation in the region to improve the profitability, efficiency and performance of agriculture in irrigated farming systems. As a result of this growers will be able to achieve greater water use efficiencies and more security for long term viability of their business.

  • Southern Growers trial site - June 2021PDF279.07 KB
  • Southern Growers trial site - August 2021PDF306.48 KB
  • Southern Growers trial site - October 2021PDF431.61 KB

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