Future Ready Dairy Systems

Dairy Australia


Consistently Profitable in a Variable Climate

Objective of the Event

  1. How good and how bad could the seasons be and how do we cope? (Richard Rawnsley, dairy researcher, TIA)
  2. What are the key management issues and strategies used to ensure high levels of profit year in year out? (Basil Doonan, dairy consultant, Macquarie Franklin)
  3. Farm walk with Leigh and Kellie Schuuring, 2012 Share Farmer of the Year Finalist. How are these management strategies implemented on a daily basis?

Key Messages

Leigh and Kellie Schuuring hosted 30 farmers for a Future Ready Dairy Systems field day in May 2012.

Because they farm with no irrigation, the Schuuring’s farm was a good property to look at modelling around rainfall variability and pasture growth. Dr Richard Rawnsley (TIA Dairy Branch Leader) presented some modelling for the farm. This was also extended to modelling of farm profitability under a range of climate scenarios. Basil Doonan (dairy consultant) highlighted that flexibility has been one of the key drivers for their success on a dryland farm.

Reflections on the Event

On the farm walk with Leigh, it was clear that attention to detail is another big factor in their capacity to adapt their business to changing seasons and cost structures. The field day was a great opportunity to get a business insight into one of the best farms in the Smithton area. Thanks to the Schuurings and Archers for sharing their information.

Quotes and Feedback from Attendees

What was the most useful part of the day?

“Grazing rotations”

“Pasture growth without irrigation”

“Usage rates of grass and grain”

“The importance of management on profitability”

“Paddock walk and filling feed gaps & flexibility of business model”

“Always helps me understand what makes the good farmers tick”

“Proving ideas and motivation”

“Greater understanding of climate adaptation techniques (business and agronomy) to pass onto clients”


Apr 03, 2012

Event Type:

Field Day




Rachel Brown