Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2007
Publication Date: 9/15/2007
Citation: Gourley, C.J.P., Aarons, S.R., Powell, J.M., Dougherty, W.J., Weaver, D.M. 2007. Revising the paradigm for improved nutrient management on Australian dairy farms. In: Chapman, D.F., Clark, D.A., Macmillan, K.L., and Nation, D.P., editors. Meeting the Challenges for Pasture-Based Dairying. Proceedings of the Australian Dairy Science Symposium. 18-20 September, 2007. University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. p. 562-569.
Technical Abstract: Dairy operations in Australia continue to intensify. Farm numbers are declining, while milk production per cow, and reliance on imported feed, are all increasing. As a result, nutrient surpluses within the dairy landscape are a common problem in Australia and pose an increasing threat to the environment. Improved nutrient management approaches are required to assist dairy farmers to remain profitable and meet increasing demands for improved environmental standards. Nutrient management approaches have previously focused on achieving greater productivity, but more recently have included nutrient loss risk assessment and nutrient balancing. There is further scope to improve nutrient management information and tools by better identifying opportunities for increased efficiencies in within-farm components, such as feed nutrient use, manure collection and storage, nutrient distribution, and crop and pasture uptake, and also in addressing spatial and temporal aspects of nutrient losses. Future developments should strive for greater uniformity in methodologies, link nutrient management recommendations with farm profitability, develop more efficient ways to gather on-farm data, assess and present uncertainties, and develop improved interpretation.