Western Dairy is one of eight Regional Development Programs under Dairy Australia and is the local organisation responsible for identifying priorities for research and training needs in the WA dairy industry.
The Dairy Industry Development Specialist is a project funded position of Western Dairy with funding provided by DAFWA and Dairy Australia (through the dairy industry levy).
Hosting the position provides SWCC with a number of benefits including increased skill sets and capacity within the staff group, promotion and reputation benefits within the dairy industry and increased access to a significant and important body of farmers and land managers that may not routinely engage with NRM and the Landcare sector.
Several projects and NRM initiatives such as the dairy composting project have progressed directly as a result of this partnership.
The dairy composting project will investigate the economic and soil health benefits of applying compost onto dairy pasture. Dairy farmers have the resources on farm to make the compost which will allow them to recycle nutrients in a more environmentally friendly manner and with the soil benefits of applied organic matter.
Findings from the project will give farmers a clearer understanding of the value of making and applying compost. It will also help determine whether the practice is an economically viable option for handling farm waste resources.
The project is in its early phase and compost is still yet to be made and applied. The project has identified sites and one site has been soil sampled.
Soil sampling will continue on all sites with compost to be made on two of the sites. Before the end of 2014, purchase compost will be applied on one site and on the two remaining sites in early 2015.
All sites will be monitored for pasture growth and grazing behaviour with ongoing soil tests to determine nutrient and soil health status.
- Western Dairy