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Sustainable dairy farming on show at Field Day

The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture’s Dairy Research Facility Field Day is on Wednesday, December 7 and is open to anyone who would like to see the upgraded facility and hear about current research.

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TIA’s Dairy Research Facility Field Day presents an opportunity for people working in Tasmania’s dairy industry to visit the farm and learn more about current research that is addressing key industry priorities, speak with researchers, and network with colleagues.

This will be the first Field Day since the recent transformation of the facility through the TIA Farms Upgrade Project, which was jointly funded by the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government.

One of the research projects enabled via the upgrades is the “farmlets” project, which will assess productive farming practices with reduced synthetic nitrogen inputs.

“The sustainability focus of our research is being tested in a complete systems approach with multiple species including a focus on nitrogen, carbon and the microbiome, comparing conventional farming with regenerative practices,” TIA Livestock Production Centre Leader Dr James Hills said.

“There is increasing interest in this area, with current research being done in other countries including New Zealand and Ireland, who we are collaborating with.”

The facility has had investment from both the State Government and the University for teaching, extension, and research outcomes, with links to schools, TasTAFE, the dairy industry and the wider community.

The day will also include a tour of the new dairy, presentations on dairy beef, virtual fencing, and on-farm adoption of low emissions feed technology using asparagopsis (red seaweed).

“Asparagopsis offers a significant opportunity to mitigate enteric methane, but delivery options for grass-fed livestock at scale are lacking,” Dr Richard Rawnsley, Academic Lead at TIA’s Livestock Production Centre said.

“Through multiple on-farm experiments, this project will assess emissions, profitability and practical issues associated with adoption of low-emission feed additives.”

The Field Day is a free event, with morning tea and lunch provided. Go to the TIA website to register https://www.utas.edu.au/tia/events

TIA is a joint venture of the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government.