Future Ready Dairy Systems

Dairy Australia


Western Victorian contacts and resources

A range of resources are currently available to dairy farmers and industry to assist in dealing with climate change and its impacts. Three categories of resource support are listed below as:

  • Funding support
  • Advice and assistance
  • Industry research

For any questions or further information contact your Regional Dairying for Tomorrow Coordinator:

Louise Sheba
Mobile: 0409 505 686
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Funding support

The following funding opportunities are time-specific and should be investigated by interested individuals/parties to ensure they are available and their detailed terms and conditions.

FarmReady Industry Grants – Australian Government

  • Provided by Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry under the program titled: Australia’s Farming Future.
  • Purpose of these grants is to assist Australian farmers to adapt to and mitigate against climate change.
  • What’s on offer:
  • FarmReady Re-imbursement for farmer training, up to $1,500 per farmer – available now
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Advice and assistance

State Government – Department of Primary Industries:

  • Dairy Extension Officers: (03) 5561 9946
  • District Agronomists provide advice to farmers

Catchment Management Authorities (CMA) across Western Victoria:

  • Possible funding support is for mitigation and adaption to a changing climate, and improving natural resource management on-farm that benefits catchment scale health.
  • Glenelg Hopkins CMA Ph: (03) 5571 2526, Corangamite CMA Ph: (03)5232 9100.

Local Government:

  • Most local councils have environmental officers and some run programmes that farmers may be able to access to improve the natural environment and for better dealing with climate change (adaptation and mitigation). Low lying coastal areas should also have information about the likely impact of sea-level rise.
  • Contact your local council to investigate what services are provided locally.

Australian Dairy Industry – Dairy Australia

  • Dairy Australia has two main programmes to deal with climate change and related environmental management – these are:
  • Confidence 2 Grow (supports this website and responsible for developing industry strategy)
  • Dairying For Tomorrow (supports improved Natural Resources Management, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation and Regional NRM Coordinators)
  • Cool Cows workshop series available from Dairy Australia regarding better management of heat stress.
  • Grains 2 Milk workshop series available from Dairy Australia regarding better management of feed purchasing risks
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Industry research

There are a range of current research activities to help deal with the impact of climate change. These include existing projects that are investigating the following:

  • Maintaining total farm production through greater feed conversion efficiency. Aiming to increase milk production by 10%, with a reduced herd size
  • Increasing cow weight by 50kg to increase feed intake and milk production
  • Increasing grain intakes by 500kg and investigating milk production responses
  • Feeding fats and oils during the summer and autumn months
  • Feeding a source of condensed tannin (CT) year round
  • Using Nitrogen-inhibitors year round

SW Victoria – A pilot research program is underway in south west Victoria. The Victorian Climate Change Adaptation Program (VCCAP) is an inter-department program under the Victorian Government’s Environmental Sustainability Action Statement. For more information, please visit the Victoria’s climate change website.

DPI Victoria’s focus is primary industries; ensuring that Victorian primary industries (agriculture, fisheries and forestry) can adapt to a changing climate by:

  • Increasing knowledge and capability of government, agricultural and agri-businesses, rural communities and individuals to make good, informed and holistic decisions, and to
  • Maximise the benefits and minimise costs of climate change; economically, socially and environmentally.

Investment partners include;

  • Victorian Government’s Environmental Sustainability Action Statement (2007-2010), and
  • DPI Victoria (2007-2008) and The University of Melbourne.
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Research program

The DPI VCCAP brings together an interdisciplinary team from across DPI, DSE and the University of Melbourne that can address the biophysical, social, economic, spatial, policy, utilisation and communication aspects required for a comprehensive response to the challenge of Climate Change.

The program has six modules across different themes of research and development designed to be independent in operation but intrinsically integrated and interdependent across each other. DPI VCCAP is under the leadership of Dr Richard Eckard; a joint appointment across DPI Victoria and the University of Melbourne. A brief description of each module follows.

  1. Farming Systems Scenario Development: Leon Soste
    This module draws key information from CSIRO and the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change’s
    (IPCC) climate projections, and work from other project modules to develop holistic scenarios describing plausible alternative futures for Victorian primary industries. The scenarios will describe the evolution of the social, economic, political, technological and ecological drivers for change from both global and local perspectives. The scenarios will be developed in close collaboration with key representatives of the agricultural industries and regional planners in a pilot region of Victoria.
    The objective is to design a process for the development and use of scenarios which:The outputs from this work will provide future scenarios that enable the resilience of farming systems to be assessed and assist the identification of appropriate adaptation strategies and options.
  2. Allows the uncertainties in climate predictions, policy decisions both within Australia and worldwide, developments in technology and other major drivers to be considered in future planning;
  3. Facilitates the identification of robust strategies and policy plans for the development of agriculture in Victoria that deal effectively with future uncertainty in the broad context of climate change;
  4. Enables all major stakeholders to contribute to and develop ownership.
  5. Impacts Modelling and Land Suitability Analysis: Victor Sposito and Garry O’Leary
    This module will investigate the potential impacts of climate change on current and potential future agricultural production systems.Key components of the analysis include:Outputs from this module will include biophysical modelling of a range of agricultural commodities (including crops, pastures and forestry) for the scenarios generated, and a risk assessment framework, including consideration of uncertainty, to evaluate the performance of the agricultural system now and in the future in the pilot region.
  6. The module will initially model the likely biophysical impacts of climate change (based on IPCC and CSIRO climate projections) on current production systems in the pilot region, exploring elements of weakness and resilience in their biophysics;
  7. Following on from the generation of holistic scenarios (from the Scenarios Module), this module will define and model biophysical characteristics of likely potential future agricultural systems for each scenario, exploring weakness and resilient elements in those systems.
  8. Land use suitability analysis of existing and potential future agricultural and forestry commodities for the holistic scenarios;
  9. Agricultural production analysis for existing and potential future agricultural commodities;
    Likely hydrological climate change impacts of the potential future agricultural systems.
  10. Institutional Adaptation: Patricia Fitzsimons
    This module seeks to improve understanding of climate change impacts on the socio-cultural, economic and governance aspects of regional communities. The analysis will focus on regional institutions which are seen as structures and mechanisms that provide social order. They include both the informal andthe formal dimensions:
  11. The informal aspect – customs, behaviours and practices that link people together;
  12. The formal dimension – organisations of government and public service.
  13. Policy Research: Fiona Johnston
    This module will provide a framework for integrating biophysical, social and policy research. This draws on recent developments in adoption, compliance and institutional research. The project will ensure the biophysical and social research undertaken in DPI VCCAP meets the needs of policy makers in terms of formulating and deciding on policy outcomes and choosing packages of policy instruments.
  14. Communications & Utilisation: Traci Griffin
    This module draws information from all other modules and ensures research outcomes are transferred and communicated to next logical users. In particular, this module ensures that key stakeholders are consulted and included throughout the life of the project and especially at key decision making points.
    The objectives of this module are to:
  15. Identify, consult and engage with stakeholders to ensure effective relationship with DPI VCCAP, including developing understanding of stakeholder needs, methods of communication and facilitating participation in project activities;
  16. Ensure optimum awareness of DPI VCCAP and the utilisation of research outcomes by working in partnership with research teams and stakeholders to synthesise research outcomes into useable forms i.e. for policy development and decision support tools
  17. Enhance the primary industry community’s understanding of the potential impacts of and uncertainties associated with climate change, potential opportunities presented and strategy options for adaptation.
  18. Ecoinformatics – (Virtual Resource Centre (VCR) and Visualisation) : Chris Pettit
    This module aims to create a central shared virtual resource for the DPI VCCAP team and by definition to wider DPI related projects and key stakeholders access to share data and information. The VRC will enable climate change adaptation project resources to be accessed, shared and quality assured via an online virtual collaborative environment based on the paradigm of eScience. The VRC will enable collaboration and the efficient exchange of knowledge between scientists, extension staff, industry and policy-makers. An important component to the VRC will be the deployment of visualisation technology to better communicate the research, development and extension outcomes of DPI VCCAP project to stakeholders.
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