Thursday, 14 December 2023 07:55

Boosting dairy soil health

Written by  Staff Reporters
An A$7 million programme to boost dairy soil health has been launched in Victoria. An A$7 million programme to boost dairy soil health has been launched in Victoria.

The Victorian state government in Australia and its dairy sector have jointly launched a new innovative research programme to improve soil health.

The A$7 million DairySoil project was launched by state Minister for Agriculture Ros Spence last week to coincide with World Soil Day celebrations.

The DairySoil project will introduce cutting-edge farming practices to help reduce industry's use of synthetic fertiliser, and increase productivity and resilience to climate change. It will use state-of-the-art sensors to measure, map, retain and recover the moisture and nutrient levels needed to produce reliable and sustainable soil.

In partnership with Dairy Australia and the Gardiner Foundation DairySoil is spearheading the initiative as part of the A$42.5 million DairyFeedbase 23-28 program. The DairyFeedbase 23-28 project is supporting transformational programs across soils, forages and animal nutrition over the next five years.

From researching soil health and pasture composition changes to measuring and reducing methane emissions, the DairyFeedbase program will aim to increase the profitability and productivity of dairy farms while minimising their impact on the environment.

The projects will also link to other national research underway and make the most of Victoria's world-class facilities at Agriculture Victoria's Ellinbank and Hamilton SmartFarms and the AgriBio Centre for AgriBiosciences in Bundoora.

Dairy Australia managing director David Nation says the DairySoil program is the cornerstone investment in soil research for Dairy Australia and the DairyFeed base program.

"It recognises the important role soil health plays in farm profitably and sustainability. The outcome will help farmers get more from their soil," says Nation.

Spence noted that healthy soil is crucial to growing the sustainability of Victoria's A$2.5 billion dairy industry and this pioneering soil research will boost industry efficiency in improving and maintaining nutritious and healthy soil.

"It's so important we we continue to bring new research to Victorian farmers, helping to improve productivity and the resilience of our thriving agriculture industry."


Insurance Council urges bold action

The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) is urging the Government to take a leadership role on climate adaptation and build New Zealand’s resilience against the impacts of climate change on lives and property.

Draft emissions plan a mixed bag

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) says documents released as part of the Government’s second emissions reduction plan consultation contain some positive elements, but also concerning ones.

Feral cattle wreak havoc

According to John Roche, MPI, the saviour for Chatham Island farmers this season has been the weather.


Cream of the crop

One of New Zealand's largest dairy farmers won the 2024 'Food, Beverage and Fibre Producer' award at the NZ Primary…

Machinery & Products

Revamped automatic calf feeder

JFC Agri, the family-owned manufacturer of agricultural products from Galway, Ireland, used Fieldays to launch its innovative Evolution range of…

ErgoPOD set for 2025 farm debut

Waikato Milking Systems has unveiled the final production version of its ErgoPOD, a state-of-the-art semi-robotic technology designed to increase milking…

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

100-year-old milk powder

OPINION: A 100-year-old sample of milk powder from Ernest Shackletons’ first solo expedition to Antarctica has been analysed by scientists.

Farmer feedback

OPINION: Sticking with the NZ Primary Industries Summit, Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell’s quip about the milk price has been…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter