Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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The Farm

DemoDAIRY Farm Image of Cows grazing

 The Western Victorian Dairy Research and Demonstration Farm Co-operative Ltd was formed in May 1991 at a public meeting held at Cobden. The aim of the Co-operative was to purchase a suitable property for a dairy research facility. The significant economic impact of the dairy industry in the region and the need to transfer knowledge to the broader industry was the primary driver for the move.

As a result of this commitment the Co-operative eventually purchased in March 1996 a 160 hectare, 250 cow dairy farm which is now known as DemoDAIRY Co-operative Ltd.

The property is centrally located in the prime dairying country of south-west Victoria, 4kms west of Terang on the Princes Highway.

DemoDAIRY Co-operative Ltd. has more than 300 shareholder members of which 70% are farmers.

The total land is 166 ha (410 acres) with the actual dairy farm using 148 milking hectares (365 acres). The dairy milks about 220 cows in an 18-unit swingover, herringbone shed. There are more than 50 paddocks of 2.5-3 hectares each, serviced by a loop track for ease of stock movement and accessibility of vehicles.

The stocking rate is around 2.1 cows per hectare and young stock are agisted off the farm. The farm effluent system is top quality, enabling the reuse of nutrients on paddocks and reuse of water through the floodwash. The soil is a dark brown to brown fine sandy clay loam. The general landscape description is Volcanic Plain and the geology is Quaternary basalt.

A 2008 analysis found DemoDAIRY had $2.7m in total assets. The farm is operating profitably and has been praised by vets for its animal welfare practices.

DemoDAIRY farm provides a facility on which dairy focused research, demonstration, education and extension activities can be conducted. Nitrogen use, pasture persistence, wet soils, rye grass variety comparisons and efficient use of effluent on fodder crops are just some of the projects that have been conducted on the farm.

It employs three staff on the farm and four in administration and support.

Aerial Photos of DemoDAIRY