Future Ready Dairy Systems

Dairy Australia

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Calving pattern in a variable climate

Milking 200 cows at Airly in the Macalister Irrigation District has given Kane Smolenaars some significant management challenges as irrigation water has become less reliable over the last 10 years. This case study explores the challenges associated with changing the farm’s calving patter to fit with a new era of lower water reliability and higher water prices. Considerations include:

  • Can changing the calving pattern allow a better match between herd demand and pasture supply is there is less summer irrigation?
  • Changing from spring to autumn calving is a major long term decision and there are many factors to consider.

The case study examines a range of options for the farm including spring and autumn calving, ‘normal’ and dry years, with and without summer irrigation.

Download case study.