Implementing innovative farm management practices on dairy farms: a review of feeding systems


Abstract: The Australian dairy industry relies primarily on pasture for its feed supply. However, the variability in rainfall negatively affects plant growth, leading to uncertainty in dryland feed supply, especially during periods of high milk price. New feeding (complementary) systems combining perennial ryegrass with another crop and/or pasture species may have the potential to mitigate this seasonal risk and improve productivity and profitability by providing off-season feed. To date, the majority of research studying the integration of alternative crops into pasture-based systems has focused on substitution and utilization of alternative feed sources. There has been little emphasis on the impacts of integration of forage crops into pasture-based systems. This review focuses on pasture-based feeding systems in southeastern Australia and how transitioning of systems contributes to improved productivity leading to improved profitability for dairy farmers.

Keywords: Australia, dairy, double-cropping, feeding system, pasture-based, profitability

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