New $7 million research centre focuses on subtropical dairy farming

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 7th March 2012

The University of Queensland and the Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation have jointly developed a new AU$7 million research centre to focus on research, development, extension and education in subtropical dairy production.

The centre’s work is expected to be particularly relevant for farmers in south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales.

University of Queensland’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor Alan Rix said the research would allow the development of on-farm strategies to assist dairy farmers in Australia’s northern areas to improve their productivity and profitability.

“It is the only facility of its kind in Australia focused on a sub-tropical feed base and it will provide research, development and education for the national and international dairy industries,” Professor Rix said.

He added that The Gatton Research Dairy will be able to provide expertise in the areas of nutrition, forage production, business management, reproductive management, animal health and welfare, animal physiology and biochemistry.

John Chapman, Agri-Science Queensland’s managing director commented, “The facility will provide a centralised access point to most of the farms in south-east Queensland. About 60 per cent of Queensland dairy farms are within a 90-minute radius of this centre.

“The facility will allow the dairy industry to conduct more comprehensive research and deliver better extension services. With our partners, we plan to undertake research and development into a number of areas, including enhanced and sustainable subtropical and tropical feeding systems, adaptation to climate change and dairy business development, and education and training programs,” Mr Chapman said.