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Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

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Published: 13 Jun 2018

The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) operates a dairy research facility at Nunns Road, Elliott, on Tasmania’s North-West Coast. This is the site of leading research into ways to boost the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Tasmania’s dairy industry.

The facility started in 1982 (previously operated by the Tasmanian Government) on 60 hectares of land with an 8-a-side swingover herringbone dairy. The facility is now 220 hectares and has been converted to a 20 unit swingover herringbone with stall gates, and is a fully operational 360-head dairy farm that operates alongside research.

Over this time there have been significant advances in technology which has enabled new and innovative ways of conducting research, including the emergence of drones which have the capacity to provide farmers with greater precision and accuracy in their decision making.

TIA is a leader in the application of new technology and is conducting projects in this area including assessing the on-farm application of virtual fencing technology; using drones to improve pasture management; individualised feeding of dairy cows; and on-animal sensors to better monitor health, grazing and productivity of dairy cows.

The facility is used for structured experiments based on a wide range of key industry issues, including feed production, animal performance, analysis of farming systems, grazing management and irrigation.

Ongoing, regular monitoring is carried out to provide information for farm management and to also create a database of historical information that can be used for research purposes. This monitoring includes:

  • Daily milk production
  • Daily climatic data
  • Weekly pasture walks on milking area
  • Monthly weighing of milking cows with automatic walk over scales
  • Monthly weighing of young stock
  • Monthly condition scoring of milking cows

Want to know more about the Dairy Research Facility? Contact the Farm Manager:

Name: Bradley Millhouse
Phone: 0408 436 357
Email: Bradley.Millhouse@utas.edu.au