Cream of re­search on show

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS -

THIS year marks 35 years of dairy re­search at the Tas­ma­nian In­sti­tute of Agri­cul­ture’s fa­cil­ity at El­liott in the North­West.

Since 1982 the Dairy Re­search Fa­cil­ity, as it is now known, has been home to lead­ing re­search into ways to boost the pro­duc­tiv­ity, profitabil­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity of Tas­ma­nia’s dairy in­dus­try.

The TIA took over the fa­cil­ity from the De­part­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Wa­ter in 2007, merg­ing the re­sources and cre­at­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties for re­search, de­vel­op­ment and ex­ten­sion.

The fa­cil­ity be­gan on 60ha with an eight-a-side swingover her­ring­bone dairy, which has since been con­verted to a 20unit swingover her­ring­bone with stall gates; it is cur­rently a fully op­er­a­tional 360-head dairy-farm­ing oper­a­tion.

Over time there have been big ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy, en­abling new and in­no­va­tive re­search. This in­cludes the emer­gence of drones, which can pro­vide greater pre­ci­sion and ac­cu­racy in farm­ers’ de­ci­sion-mak­ing.

TIA is a leader in the ap­pli­ca­tion of new tech­nol­ogy and is con­duct­ing projects as­sess­ing the on-farm ap­pli­ca­tion of vir­tual fenc­ing tech­nol­ogy; us­ing drones to im­prove pas­ture man­age­ment; in­di­vid­u­alised feed­ing; and sen­sors to mon­i­tor cows’ health, graz­ing and pro­duc­tiv­ity.

The fa­cil­ity is also the site of struc­tured ex­per­i­ments based on a key in­dus­try is­sues, in­clud­ing feed pro­duc­tion, an­i­mal per­for­mance, anal­y­sis of farm­ing sys­tems, graz­ing man­age­ment and ir­ri­ga­tion.

Dairy farm­ers, ser­vice providers and the lo­cal com­mu­nity are in­vited to cel­e­brate at an open day at the Dairy Re­search Fa­cil­ity on De­cem­ber 7.

This is a great op­por­tu­nity to meet TIA re­searchers, have a look at cur­rent re­search trials and learn more about the projects be­ing con­ducted.

Ev­ery­one who has been in­volved at the fa­cil­ity and in­ter­ested com­mu­nity mem­bers are in­vited to the event.

TIA’s dairy team will up­dates on cur­rent pro­vide projects in­clud­ing ac­cel­er­ated calf rear­ing, calf rear­ing sys­tems for dairy beef, Dairy on PAR, Smarter Ir­ri­ga­tion and drones for pas­ture man­age­ment.

John Mul­vany from OMJ Con­sult­ing will share tac­tics to ef­fec­tively man­age for tight times on the farm.

The day is a great net­work­ing op­por­tu­nity and a chance to catch up with oth­ers in the in­dus­try while en­joy­ing a free lunch.

The day is at 124 Nunns Rd, El­liott, from 10.30am to 4pm.

For catering pur­poses, RSVP by De­cem­ber 5 to Les­ley Irvine on 0428 880 287 or email les­ley.irvine@utas.edu.au.

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