The dairy sector is the largest agricultural industry in Victoria, accounting for more than 65 per cent of annual national milk production and with exports valued at $1.85 billion.Its major markets include Japan, Singapore, China, Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia.
In recent years, drought, global economic conditions, variable water availability, input costs and farm gate milk prices have adversely impacted on-farm productivity and profitability.At the same time, feed production and feeding systems on-farm have intensified and consumer expectations around animal welfare and environmental management have risen.
These changes present new challenges to farmers, as they seek to improve their profitability productivity and production in an increasingly competitive international market.
How we work
Agriculture Research is helping Victorian dairy farmers to improve profitability and productivity while also managing environmental variability through the development of new management practices. These practices are designed to support dairy farming systems that are flexible; profitable and productive; responsible to the environment and to animal welfare; and internationally competitive.
The Agriculture Research division focuses on four core areas: feedbase and nutrition; animal performance; natural resource management and climate; and farm business management. Its researchers work collaboratively across the department and in conjunction with Dairy Australia, the Gardiner Foundation, the Federal Department of Agriculture, national and international collaborators, including The University of Melbourne, the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture and the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Teagasc.
These links provide research projects summaries in dairy research:
Find out about the research on climate change's effect on the dairy industry.
Read the report about the last 30 years of dairy RD&E.
There are some short term strategies dairy farmers can take to adapt to climate change.
Find some helpful tools and resources for dairy farmers around climate change and seasonal variation.