Dairy systems analysis - M5 Information Series

The Sustainable Dairy Farm Systems for Profit project, undertaken between 2001 and 2005, at Mutdapilly Research Station and on associated commercial farms, investigated the potential impact of intensification of five subtropical dairy farming systems on business productivity, on the social well being of farming families and on the farm environment.

These documents form part of the M5 Project Information Series.  Please note that due to the time lag since this research, many of the contact links will be irrelevant.

“Sustainable dairy farm systems for profit” Background info, PDF 300 KB

Dairy Farm Systems in the Subtropics

M1 Farmlet – Dairy farming with raingrown pastures and no irrigation, PDF 600 KB

M2 Farmlet – Dairy farming with raingrown pastures, limited irrigation, PDF 500 KB

M3 Farmlet – Dairy farming with annual crops and limited irrigation, PDF 600 KB

M4 Farmlet – Dairy farming, high use irrigation on crops and pastures, PDF 600KB

M5 Farmlet – Feedlot dairy farming in subtropical Australia, PDF 600 KB


Economics of concentrate feeding, PDF 200 KB

Mixer wagons – some observations, PDF 200 KB

Cross breeding in dairy herds, PDF 200 KB

Batch calving in dairy herds, PDF 100 KB

Reducing the impact of hot weather, PDF 400 KB

Water Use

Steps to making efficient use of water, PDF 300 KB

Water use efficiency of forages on subtropical dairy farms, PDF 300 KB

Estimating annual irrigation water reqirements, PDF 300 KB


Strengths and weaknesses of subtropical dairy farming systems, PDF 600 KB

Managing weeds under reduced tillage, PDF 500 KB

Managing the riparian zone on dairy farms, PDF 1 MB

Soil Nutrients – the contribution made by purchased feeds, PDF 200 KB


The role & experience of M5 project ‘companion’ dairy farms, PDF 500 KB

Social and family aspects of dairy farm expansion , PDF 300 KB

Labour management checklist – a series of questions and answers, PDF 100 KB


Profitable dairying is possible, PDF 200 KB

Flow diagram to help formulate the farms strategic direction, PDF 100 KB

Modeling tools

Dairy Predict

Dairy Predict is a dairy feed base and enterprise planning decision aid for the subtropical dairy industry, which can also be used in temperate regions.

Data for a large number of subtropical and temperate forages are contained in the database included in the program.