Nutrient, land and water management

People on a field

Informed decisions improve productivity and environmental outcomes

Different management practices can result in improved productivity and environmental outcomes and farmers now have a greater arsenal of tools at their disposal to help make informed decisions. (For example see http://fertsmart.dairyingfortomorrow.com.au; http://dairyclimatetoolkit.com.au/; http://frds.dairyaustralia.com.au/; http://dairyingfortomorrow.com.au/)

Farmers participating in Fert$mart find that when they get soil and fertiliser management ‘right’, they can produce more feed at no extra cost. The average fertiliser saving for farmers participating in Gippsland Fert$mart programs has been $15,000 for the year.

DairySAT (see http://www.dairyaustralia.com.au/Environment-and-resources/DairySAT---Dairy-Self-Assessment-Tool.aspx)  is an upgraded self-assessment tool which makes it easier for farmers to identify and deal with critical environmental issues facing their operation. New features allow farmers to work through 10 focus areas such as soils, fertilisers and effluent management, and then create an action plan.

Dairy Australia is continuing to facilitate the Unilever project to demonstrate continuous improvement against the Unilever Sustainable Sourcing requirements for dairy. Dairy Australia  has also contributed to the FAO Working Group on dairy biodiversity.

The dairy industry has been active in contributing to policy reviews for water management regulation, with a focus on the Murray Darling Basin Plan arrangements and implementation.  The dairy industry supports a Basin Plan which returns more water for the environment.  However, this is not just a case of adding more water, it is about having the right balance of programs implemented in the right way at the right time.