The sustainability of Australia’s dairy farmers will be highlighted as part of a project showing the journey of dairy products from farmgate to the fridge.
The Sustainable Dairy Products project, led by Dairy Australia, will use new technology such as soil moisture sensors and native vegetation mapping to help dairy farmers create a shared database of their natural resources.
The trial will involve at least 400 dairy farmers from across the country, in partnership with milk processors and banks. It has received a $480,000 federal government grant.
The project was launched at Alanvale Dairy near Hawkesdale after the farm expressed an interest in becoming involved.
Federal agriculture minister David Littleproud said many companies, retailers, investors and consumers wanted to know the food they bought was being produced sustainably and this project will give them clear evidence.
“We want to help our dairy farmers turn good environmental practices into market advantage,” Mr Littleproud said.
We want to help our dairy farmers turn good environmental practices into market advantage.David Littleproud
“As part of the project, dairy farmers will be using new soil moisture sensor technology, vegetation mapping and monitoring of effluent levels in milking sheds to feed data in automatically.
“There is a proven link between good business practice and good natural capital.
“For example, throughout the trial farmers will be sent handy reminders about what good fertiliser planning is saving them in time and money.”
Federal Member for Wannon Dan Tehan welcomed the government’s recognition of dairy farmers’ good on-farm practices.
“Over 65 per cent of Aussie dairy farms are located in Victoria and we want to help them promote their high-quality, sustainable products,” Mr Tehan said.
“Consumers want to be able to make good decisions for their family, support our dairy farmers and reward sustainable farming. It’s a way for our farmers to stay ahead of the curve.
“This project will help farmers show how sustainable their product is, make more informed farm management decisions and be more productive.”
Dairy farmers involved in the project will be encouraged to give feedback throughout the trial.