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Dairy farmers mix pizza with nutrition

YOUNG Dairy Network (YDN) South Gippsland hosted a fun and informative night at Meeniyan with pizza on the menu and summer herd feeding the focus of discussion, last Wednesday evening.

Guest speakers Damien Adcock from Heritage Seeds, Gerard Murphy from GDM Agricultural Consulting and Greg Pate from Irwin Stockfeeds led an interesting discussion on dairy cow nutrition and summer feeding.

While YDN hosted the night, it was open to all farmers, with more than 30 people turning out to the Meeniyan Bowls Club.

Gippsland YDN co-ordinator Sarah Cornell said the big crowd and interactive discussion showed South Gippsland dairy farmers were looking for expert advice on how to deal with a potentially tight season.

“While most farmers in this area have done well with silage so far, there’s still plenty of concern about what lies ahead with the weather and how the high grain prices will impact on farm profitability,” she said.

“Having three expert speakers like Damien, Gerard and Greg led to some really interesting discussions on how to handle the herd this summer when dealing with issues like finding extra home grown feed, making the most of every kilo of feed and reducing the impact of a hot summer on your cows.”

For Damien Adcock, the big issue at the moment is what alternatives are out there for replacement feed this summer.

“Out and about at the moment I’m being asked about what cropping options are out there to extend feed quality and preserve pastures,” he said.

“What type of crop, how much, what do I need to actually grow it, what will it cost relative to bought in feed and what are some of the pitfalls. Feed is expensive at the moment so farmers want to know if there’s an opportunity to grow a bit more home grown feed.”

Gerard Murphy said, with bought in feed so expensive this year, farmers need to be thinking about maximising what they already have.

“It’s extra important in a tight season because you don’t have the luxury of just buying in an extra load of hay. It’s going to cost a lot more than usual. Balancing things out and getting it right is just so important this year,” he said.

The farm consultant believed the Young Dairy Network night was a great example of how people in the industry are constantly striving to improve and are also willing to support one another.

“You’ve got to have new people coming through in any industry and dairy is no different,” he said.

“So if people can learn something each day they will keep improving.

“It’s a very tight industry at the moment, so if you can learn something that helps you make a bit more money than you might otherwise have done, then it’s a bonus.”

Greg Pate, who spoke about the importance of keeping cows cool in hot weather over summer, said the chance to socialise with neighbours and friends was just as important as the technical knowledge that might be gained from such an evening.

“It’s a great opportunity to network with younger guys and even some older ones as well,” he said.

“From the personal angle, I think it’s vital that we can get people along to these events.

“The social side is really important. People can have a chat, see what position they are in and how everybody else is going. I think that side of things is fantastic.”

It’s a sentiment shared by Ms Cornell, who said Young Dairy Network events helped build networks within the farming community.

“We all know farming can involve long hours and a lot of time on your own, so nights like this are a great chance to relax, have a chat and catch up with some familiar faces you might not have seen in a while,” she said.

“GippsDairy and Dairy Australia supports YDN because we understand the importance of developing the next generation of farmers for this great industry.”

Anyone who would like to join their local YDN group can contact Sarah at sarah@gippsdairy.com.au or on 5624 3900.

 

 

 

Sharing stories: from left, at the Young Dairy Network evening at Meeniyan last Wednesday were Meeniyan’s Charlie McInnes, Leongatha South’s Ben Vagg and Nathan Fenby from Zoetis.

Talk, tucker: Buffalo’s Peter Young (left) and Neil Kreun from Mardan catch up with Penny Johnson from Saputo at the Young Dairy Network evening at Meeniyan last Wednesday.

Offering insight: Gippsland Young Dairy Network co-ordinator Sarah Cornell with guest speakers, from left, Gerard Murphy from GDM Agricultural Consulting, Damien Adcock from Heritage Seeds and Greg Pate from Irwin Stockfeeds, at Meeniyan last Wednesday evening.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=26684

Posted by on Nov 21 2018. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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