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Optimising Dairy Farming – Ministry for Primary Industries Farm Systems Change Case Studies

Jane Davidson and Albert Hanson presented a summary of the Farm Systems Change Dairy initiative. This project aims to close the gap between top performaing dairy farms and the rest of the industry. MPI is working alongside top performing dairy farmers to understand how they have improved farm performance and producivity. While each farm in the study was different, a number of themes, principles and practices have been identified that can contribute to the discussion about how to enable more dairy farmers to improve their environmental, animal welfare and financial outcomes.

Key findings include:
1. High performance cows have access to greater volumes of high-quality feed than industry norms.
2. Cow condition, health and welfare are of a high standard as a result.
3. A high proportion of the feed goes into milk production rather than cow maintenance.
4. This has led to production efficiency by producing a greater volume of milk per unit of feed.
5. That production efficiency has contributed to capital efficiency and return on assets.
6. Through these outcomes the farms have achieved resilience through having the capacity to be agile and adapt to external factors such as climate and price volatility as they arise.

For more information about the project and its outcomes see:
https://www.mpi.govt.nz/growing-and-harvesting/dairy/farm-systems-change

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