Reduced emissions

Solar panels

A ‘carbon confident’ dairy community

Dairy Australia, Fonterra, Devondale Murray Goulburn and Bega Cheese have been working together to build industry understanding of how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensity as part of the Australian Government funded Carbon Farming Futures Extension & Outreach Program   . With the aim of creating a ‘carbon confident’ dairy community the different projects have built industry understanding of the practices that profitably reduce greenhouse gas emissions, embedded in the context of every-day farm management decisions.

By 2017 over 3000 Australian dairy farmers and service providers will have attended farmer forums, carbon focus farm meetings, field days and workshops focusing on practices to reduce emissions. An additional 1000 farmers and service providers will have received one-on-one support and training in how to reduce GHG emissions.

Another project, the Dairy Businesses for Future Climates research project (DBFC) is examining how different dairy farm systems may perform under predicted climate changes to the year 2040.  The project, implemented in three regions (Gippsland, Tasmania and South Australia) uses real farms as a representative base level case study in each region.  Three development options (intensify, adapt/reorganise and simplify) are being modelled for high, medium and low climate change scenarios in 2040.

Preliminary project findings are that climate change is manageable in the dairy regions studied out to 2040. Farmers have access to adaptive strategies to maintain milk flow through increased variability but will need increased skills in business risk management particularly with respect to climate risk. If businesses are resilient with respect to resource and business management the evidence suggests they will be able to cope with increased climate variability. The project is funded by the Australian Government and Dairy Australia.