Re­search will drive greater pro­duc­tion

Dairy News Australia - - NEWS - NSW -

DAIRYMAN BILL Inglis heads up the coun­cil that an­chors the re­search and de­vel­op­ment projects tak­ing place at the Univer­sity of Sydney’s Dairy Re­search Foun­da­tion at Cam­den, NSW. The 63-year-old for­mer dairy farmer and, th­ese days, dairy heifer grower at his farm at The Oaks, a town­ship 14 km from Cam­den, wran­gles a broad church of in­dus­try in­ter­ests on the coun­cil he has chaired for the past nine years. “The 17 coun­cil mem­bers rep­re­sent all sec­tors of the in­dus­try in­clud­ing re­searchers, farm­ers, aca­demics, pub­lic ser­vants, in­dus­try ad­vo­cates and stu­dents,” Mr Inglis said. “We have our share of chal­lenges and scarce re­search dol­lars are at the head of the list. “Ob­vi­ously, we’re re­search driven and R&D rev­enue is shrink­ing and this is a ma­jor prob­lem across the in­dus­try. We’re work­ing on it. “I think also that there is a cul­ture within the in­dus­try that is in­ward-look­ing rather than for­ward-look­ing. “We need to be look­ing to our fu­ture.” Dairy Australia funds most of the re­search pro­grams at Cam­den largely through the Fu­tureDairy pro­gram tasked with de­vel­op­ing dairy ro­bot­ics and au­to­ma­tion. Mr Inglis said other re­search has fo­cused on as­sist­ing farm­ers get greater value out of their land. “Triple-crop­ping pro­grams al­low pro­duc­tion of 40 tonnes of dry mat­ter per hectare.” He said he was most pos­i­tive about the fu­ture growth of the dairy in­dus­try in NSW. “We’re see­ing larger dairies be­ing de­vel­oped. As coal mines in the Hunter Val­ley close down in com­ing years, I be­lieve more qual­ity land will go into dairy pro­duc­tion. “We also need new con­sumer des­ti­na­tions for our milk other than do­mes­tic su­per­mar­kets. “Ma­jor pro­ces­sors are to­day ac­tively de­vel­op­ing new mar­kets in Asia. “Growth will come through our pro­ces­sors de­vel­op­ing new high-end prod­ucts and new des­ti­na­tions for our milk in­clud­ing qual­ity ex­port cheeses.” Bill says $1 a litre su­per­mar­ket milk had been ‘a drag’ on the in­dus­try in NSW but he was de­lighted by the num­ber of con­sumers who had cho­sen to pay more for farmer and pro­ces­sor branded milk dur­ing the past 12 months. “I’m look­ing for­ward to hear­ing the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion’s in­quiry into the in­dus­try,” he said.

Bill Inglis

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