Nutrient, land and water management

People on a field

Tools helping farmers make smarter decisions

Dairy Australia is committed to further roll out of Fert$mart with the introduction of a web based Fert$mart app designed to streamline the Fert$mart planning process for agronomists. Fert$mart will be delivered in all dairy regions over the next 12 months with a waiting list of farmers wanting to take part in the program and strong interest from agronomists. A significant number of agronomists are now delivering Fert$mart as part of their services to farmers.

As part of the cross-sector Smarter Irrigation for Profit project, Dairy Australia is facilitating the establishment of “Optimised Irrigation” sites on commercial farms across Australia. The project will establish industry benchmarks for water and energy use for a range of irrigation systems and pasture/forage production systems. The outputs will be guidelines for farmers to assess the performance of their systems with the aim of improving dry matter production per litre of water while improving soil health and reducing nutrient loss.

Dairy Australia Regional Development Programs will continue to work with Regional NRM organisations to fence off and revegetate waterways. Examples of future activities include the Clean Rivers partnerships in Tasmania, the Franklin River and Corner Inlet program in West Gippsland and the water quality improvement program in the Hopkins River catchments of Western Victoria.

Dairy Australia is also working with the National Australia Bank (NAB) to identify links between management of natural capital and financial performance over the long term in dairy farming systems.  DairySAT is being used as a way of demonstrating what action plans need to be taken on dairy farms.

The dairy industry will continue to seek policy changes and implementation arrangements that get the Murray Darling Basin Plan back on track. The dairy industry is seeking changes to the current arrangements to ensure more certainty for farmers and as much water as possible is retained in the irrigation pool, for example through full delivery of environmental offsets and better understanding of the socio-economic impacts of water recovery prior to adjusting the sustainable diversion limit.