WELCOME TO THE

Dairy Grains Mentoring Project

An opportunity to improve skills and knowledge through the development of professional business relationships across the dairy and grain industries

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This project is supported by Subtropical Dairy through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund

Subtropical Dairy

The Dairy Grains Mentoring project provides a unique opportunity for the dairy and grains industries to collaborate, firstly in sharing agronomic advice and, secondly, giving feedback to the grain industry about nutritional requirements for a sustainable dairy industry.

Ross McInnes

Subtropical Dairy has been successful in securing funding through the Future Drought Fund for a project focused on improving business resilience through increased knowledge of soil fertility and health on northern Australian dairy farms.

The combined impacts of climate change, drought and margin erosion have led to a steady change in farming systems in the northern dairy industry with an increase in propagation of annual grain and fodder crops. This change in system has been driven primarily by lower irrigation water availability, an increase in frequency of drought, competition for feed grains and a greater need to manage cow comfort.

What the Project is about:

The objective of the Dairy Grains Mentoring project is to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence of northern Australian dairy farmers to refine and adopt contemporary agronomic and soil management best practice for grain-based and forage silage crops from the region’s grain industry.

The Project aims to do this by reducing dairy business risk and exposure to drought and soil degradation through adapting key agronomic and soil conservation strategies learnt from our regional grain farmers.

Community of Practice

The project will look to establish a Community of Practice between the dairy industry and the grains industry with an aim to share knowledge between the two industries around soil health and agronomic practices and improve productivity and profitability.

Whilst the Community of Practice will operate across the wider two industries, a mentoring network will aim to connect 15 individual dairy farmers with agronomists with expertise in the grains industry.

 

‘A Community of Practice is a group of dedicated people who share an interest and passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better through regular shared experiences.’

How to get involved..

15 places are available for dairy farmers across the northern Australian dairy industry to participate in a Dairy Grains Mentoring Network.

Dairy farmers will be linked to a grains industry service provider in a mentoring arrangement. Participants in the project will be expected to participate in an online workshop series starting on 25th October. Four online sessions will run on Monday’s at 11am – 1pm (Qld time).

Barb Bishop will facilitate the workshop series. Barb is well-known in the dairy industry and has more than 30 years’ experience in leadership, teaching/training and facilitation, particularly across the agricultural sector. The workshop series has been designed to equip participants with skills and tools around communication and building better connections in their business

Participants at the workshop will also spend time looking at current agronomic practices across both the dairy and grains industries, focusing on best practice options from the grains industry that can be adapted for use in the dairy industry for grain-based and forage silage crops.

The Dairy Grains Mentoring project will also offer the opportunity for dairy farmers involved in the Mentoring Network to tour six grain farms on the Darling Downs with high productivity and soil health benchmarks. This tour is planned for early 2022.

Throughout the project, learnings will be shared to the wider dairying community via the Subtropical Dairy eNews, articles in Northern Horizons, videos and webinars and various other extension channels.

The aim of the Dairy Grains network is to increase capability regarding crop productivity and soil health on dairy farms and enhance knowledge and expertise sharing between the dairy and grains industries. With industry support, participating dairy farmers will establish and measure a number of key benchmarks across summer and winter crops.

PROJECT EVENTS – 2022

Dairy Grains Mentoring Project – On-farm composting with David Hall

Please join us for an online discussion about the benefits and practicalities of composting on dairy farms.

The Dairy Grains Mentoring project, funded through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund, is currently connecting dairy farmers throughout the northern australian dairy region, to agronomists working in the northern grains industry. The project is looking to build on dairy farmers knowledge and skills in the areas of crop agronomy, and soil health and productivity through learnings from the grains industry. One topic of focus coming from the project is composting and the use of manure and other reclaimable resources on dairy farms.

David Hall, a highly regarded, local agronomist working across the grains and dairy industries will join us to discuss composting on dairy farms and have an open conversion about it’s benefits and practicalities.

Topics for discussion will include:

  • Why use composts on our soils?
  • Understanding the decomposition process and the advantages of compost.
  • Understanding the importance of the various raw materials that go into the mix: carbon:nitrogen and other ratios.
  • Utilising compost in a practical way – how much to apply, soil tests, crop/pasture demands?.
  • What happens when the compost is applied to the soil? How do nutrients become available to the plant?
  • Possible contaminants.

Webinar Details:

When:
Thursday, 27th January 2022 @ 12 noon (Qld time), 1pm (NSW time)

Where:
Online via Zoom

RSVP:
Please Register through here or call Jo Srhoj on 0458 065 695 or Belinda Haddow 0423 00 3638.

Dairy Grains Mentoring Project –  On-farm composting with David Hall

Subtropical Dairy invites you to an on-farm discussion with David Hall focused on composting on dairy farms.

Join us at the Stewart’s farm in Canningvale to discuss the benefits and practicalities of composting. The Stewart family have begun composting their cow manure and David will discuss some of the opportunities dairy farmers have to utilise and profit from this resource in a practical way.

Topics for discussion at this event will include:

  • Why use composts on our soils?
  • Understanding the decomposition process and the advantages of compost?
  • Understanding the importance of the various raw materials that go into the mix:carbon :nitrogen and other ratios.
  • Utilising compost in a practical way – how much to apply, soil tests, crop/pasture demands.
  • What happens when the compost is applied to the soil? How do the various nutrients become available to plants?
  • Possible contaminants.

When:
Fri, 28th January 2022,  10.00am – 2pm

Where:
The Stewart’s Farm
45 Harrison’s Rd
WARWICK Qld 4370

RSVP:
Please Register thru here or contact Belinda Haddow 0423 00 3638.

There is no cost for farmers to attend this event. Morning tea and lunch will be provided. Please advise if there are any special dietary requirements.

To help us comply with COVID-19 guidelines, we ask that anyone who is sick or is feeling unwell prior to, or on the day, or has reason to believe they may have been in contact with someone who is at risk of having COVID-19, please not attend. We will gladly provide you with information after the event.

Dairy Grains Mentoring Project two-day farm tour.

10th & 11th February

Touring 6 grain farms through the Dalby region of the Darling Downs

Tour is for project participants only.

For more information, please call one of the project staff:

Belinda Haddow

Project Manager

M | 0423 003 638
Email Belinda

Jo Srhoj

Jo Srhoj

Project Officer

M | 0458 065 695
Email Jo

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This project is supported by Subtropical Dairy and Dairy Australia, through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund