FodderFacts No. 7


Solution to increase productivity and profitability in the Australian Dairy Industry

If Australia's dairy industry is to become a genuine competitor on the world stage it must embrace the more productive practices of its international counterparts and place heavy emphasis on supplementary feeding to achieve a competitive edge.

According to Australian Dairy Corporation statistics, the Australian dairy industry was ranked 19th out of 38 countries in terms of productivity per cow in 1999. In spite of more than $100 million being spent on dairy research and development and dairy extension services, this relative ranking had not improved in a decade. Our national average milk yields are still 36% lower than the world's dairy leaders.

The tyranny of drought and variable rainfall work against the best efforts of the Australian dairy industry to develop sustainable improvements to the productivity of pasture-based milk-production systems.

Unfortunately, a pasture-based milk-production system, on the driest continent on earth with some of the most variable rainfall on earth, is not a reliable way to maintain even daily production rates and it is susceptible to short-term environmental fluctuations. In the past 27 years, for more than 80% of the time, some part of New South Wales has been drought declared, and it only takes a four to six week period of dry weather to impact the productivity of a pasture-based dairy system.

As Australia's strong export growth in the dairy industry continues, finding alternatives to the current reliance on pasture becomes imperative. In order to maintain access to new and existing markets and recover lost revenue from deregulation, the Australian dairy industry must generate substantial productivity and efficiency improvements. More milk can be produced more economically on fewer dairy farms by increasing herd sizes and by feeding the existing cows better, or by combining these two approaches.

The use of high quality, nutritionally dense lucerne fodder made the Fodder King way presents a new option for dairy farmers looking for a feed source which can increase the productivity of their dairy cattle.

By simply improving its diet, a 5,000 litre per year cow can be turned into a 10,000 litre per year through substituting 16kg of high quality lucerne hay per day for poor quality pasture. Each kilogram of Fodder King's natural product will add a litre of milk per day to a dairy cow's output.

From a dairy farmer's perspective, judicious use of Fodder King product provides the opportunity to upgrade their production profitably while employing negligible capital outlay. It also facilitates the removal of non-performing costly fodder-making equipment. The use of Fodder King product lowers the farmer's overheads, takes environmental pressure off existing pasture systems and aids in maintaining long-term sustainable land use despite heavier farm production.

Lucerne hay made the Fodder King way offers benefits not available from even the best quality pasture grass which has low nutritional density because it contains around 80% water. Haylage (35-45% moisture) and Silage (45-60% moisture) offer similar hindrances because water does not make milk. Rather, it simply takes up space inside the cow. It is the protein and energy contained in the feed that makes milk. Fodder King's natural product contains low moisture content and high nutritional value, thus facilitating high rates of milk production.

Paul McCardell 02 9558 4988; 0409 466 879
Kim Campbell 02 9558 4988; 0418 445 055


P.O. Box 5156


Telephone (61 2 9558 4988)

Facsimile: (61 2 9558 2733)