Future Ready Dairy Systems

Dairy Australia

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The case for exploring smart N management on Australian dairy farms

Based on information from the WA Greener Pastures project and the national Accounting for Nutrients program, Ian Fillery and Sam Taylor outline some of the issues and challenges for N management. The report describes:

  • Inputs of all major nutrients were in excess for all conventional farms
  • Many farms had N excesses greater than 200kg N per ha
  • Whole farm N use efficiency averaged 28% (range 14 -50)
  • But, milk production was strongly linked to N inputs
  • Smart N use focuses on adjusting N inputs to paddocks or zones within paddocks to account for soil conditions and productive capacity.
  • An example from New Zealand (Craige Mackenzie) is included.

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