Projects and Reports

Important Information for Tasmanian Dairy Farmers
Tactics for Tight Times Program

DairyTas is developing a number of activities to support farmers in this period of uncertainty with the milk price reductions across southern Australia. We understand the difficulty that the changes have placed many farmers in.

There will be a range of business related supports and social activities that we are implementing in collaboration with other industry players and organisations and local communities. DairyTas is also open to other suggestions where we might be able to help.

We encourage farmers to seek good advice and participate in local and other events for your industry and community in this challenging time.

Farm based feed budgeting sessions

Farm based feed budgeting sessions July 2016 – June 2017

Half day farm session with a consultant/advisor who will review your feed situation and discuss options that are available to you. Download flyer. (You may also wish to undertake a review of your feed budget during the 16/17 season – please contact us to discuss.)

Tactics for Tight Times fact sheet 1 – May 2016 – Taking Stock of your situation

Taking stock farm business review

½ day farm session with a consultant/advisor who will assist you to review your farms financial situation and performance and discuss with you options that are available for the coming season and months ahead. Contact DairyTas now to register your interest in Taking Stock and Feed Budgeting. Download flyer. (You may also wish to undertake a review of your feed budget during the 16/17 season – please contact us to discuss.)

Discussion group funding

Dairy Australia recognises that dairy discussion groups are vital to the health of our industry. Therefore funding is now available for both existing and new groups.

Up to $3,000 per group per year is available to assist with the costs of:

  • forming a new group
  • employing a facilitator
  • attending a group tour
  • engaging a guest speaker
  • taking part in a group training course

If you have a great idea for a group or are involved with a group that could use the funding to enhance the groups learning then please complete the application form.

Each group application will be assessed based on the contribution to the industry and to the learning of the members involved. Download application form.

Small group local area meetings – Grant

An opportunity to get together with a small number of farmers within your local area/community to discuss issues that are relevant to all present and sign post to support activities. Complete the application form if you are a farmer interested in accessing up to $1000 to host one of these meetings.

Regional discussion groups

Topical, regionally based seasonal discussion groups managed by TIA Dairy Centre will commence shortly.

Pasture workshops and coaching groups

Commencing in late June these farmer groups will focus members on their cheapest feed source, pasture. Groups will be organised by TIA.

Funding is also available through DairyTas to commence or support local discussion groups.

Dairy Australia resources

Dairy Australia has a number of tips and resources for managing under tight times on their website.

Case studies

Dairy Australia’s Tactics for Tight Times case studies showcase practical tactics implemented by dairy farmers across the country. Read more

For further support contact:

Dairy Australia’s Tactics for Tight Times with Phil Shannon

Watch on YouTube

Dairy Australia’s Tactics for Tight Times with Neil Webster

Watch on YouTube

Dairy Australia’s Tactics for Tight Times with Chris Hibburt

Watch on YouTube

Dairy Australia’s Tactics for Tight Times with Neil Lane

Watch on YouTube

Dairy Australia’s Tactics for Tight Times with John Mulvany

Watch on YouTube

Tactics for Tight Times and Taking Stock

Watch on YouTube

Professor Richard Eckard – Timing of nitrogen application

Watch on YouTube

Careers in Dairy – Faces of Tasmanian Dairy

As part of its Faces of Dairy campaign DairyTas has produced a number of farmer videos highlighting careers and roles in the Tasmanian dairy industry. A series of 12 videos are being produced. Farmer stories are a powerful way to promote the Tasmanian dairy industry. Specific objectives of the Legendairy Faces of Tasmania campaign are:

  • To improve the profile and reputation of the Tasmanian dairy industry within the state.
  • Generate interest and awareness in Tasmania internationally as a sustainable and profitable dairy sector.
  • To raise awareness and preference about career opportunities and pathways in the Tasmanian dairy industry.

Watch on YouTube

Stepping Stones – Career Pathways in the Dairy Industry

Stepping Stones – Career Pathways in the Dairy Industry

The new Stepping Stones career pathways resource has been developed by DairyTas and Dairy Australia in response to the need for better information to outline and explain the opportunities available for new and existing dairy farmers. It aims to assist people with planning a career and seeing what pathways may be open to them.

Stepping Stones has been produced from Dairy Australia’s Workforce Planning and Action project as an important resource for the industry in its efforts to attract, retain and develop more people in the industry. Stepping Stones is being launched by the Minister for Primary Industries and Water, the Hon Jeremy Rockliff and the Managing Director of Dairy Australia, Ian Halliday on June 30th 2014.

It is the most comprehensive dairy careers information source of its type available on the dairy industry and will help people better understand what jobs are available around dairying.

We need more people to look at dairying as a career in Tasmania and this will assist in making it happen. Stepping Stones covers job information and profiles real farmers in different jobs. It shows how some in the industry have progressed and what is possible. Seven (7) different dairy farmers and employees are part of Stepping Stones. They each give their story on how they entered the industry and what steps they have taken.

This resource is important for young people in the industry and for people who may be looking at entering the dairy industry. It will be valuable as an education and career resource in the schools and will complement existing school programs like Cows Create Careers.

Stepping Stones is available in hard copy from DairyTas and as downloadable PDF format:

Download Stepping Stones (PDF)


The Employment Starter Kit (ESKi) was officially launched at the DairyTas AGM on the 14th November 2013.

This information folder is a resource to make it straightforward for farmers to employ staff and to minimise the business risk around getting it wrong. It provides easy access to the documents you need to employ someone; covering the law, payroll, leave, agreements and the Award, termination and safety.

Please download and complete the order form to obtain your copy. You can also call DairyTas on 6432 2233 or email to arrange to have your copy delivered. DairyTas reps are also available to walk you through this kit and discuss how it will work for you.

An electronic version of the ESKi is also available.

Young Dairy Network Australia (YDNA)

The Young Dairy Network Australia (YDNA) has been established to ensure that regional young farmer groups are supported nationally and provides them with an avenue to share information, exchange ideas and stay connected.

Young Dairy Network Tasmania (YDN Tas)

The Young Dairy Network Tasmania (YDN Tas) is the regional network in the state. Groups will operate in each of the main dairying regions, currently including a group in the North East, Central North and North West regions. There is the opportunity to have a fourth regional group in the South, depending on interest. Each regional group is driven by local farmers to ensure activities meet the needs of the local community. The Network will be a collaborative effort amongst industry stakeholders within the state. The groups with aim to:

  • Assist the next generation of dairy farmers to further develop their skill sets
  • Assist younger farmers in dealing with issues specific to their needs
  • Encourage enthusiasm and motivation to young people in the dairy industry
  • Provide inspiration to young farmers and new entrants to stay within the industry
  • Provide opportunities for developing networks and relationships with other young farmers and people throughout the industry, and
  • Ensure the young farmer network is maintained across the Tasmanian dairy industry.

YDN Tas is on Facebook

To stay up to date with news and information on what is happening, and any events coming up, as part of the YDN Tas, visit our Facebook page at This is also a good way to stay connected with other young people involved in the industry, and any news and events from other networks around the country.

More information

Alison Hall
Phone (03) 6430 4525

Project reports

King Island Solar Hot Water Project

King Island Solar Hot Water Project (1)

King Island dairy farmers now have one more energy option thanks to funding from the Renewable Energy Fund – King and Flinders Island (funded by Department of Infrastructure Energy and Resources). As part of this fund, 8 suitable sheds on King Island had an Apricus commercial solar hot water system installed (Lion are yet to install the 9th system). Funds from renewable energy certificates were used to install LED energy efficient lighting as well. The project was coordinated and run by Darren Cooper (Tas Energy and Heating) and Rachel Brown (Dairy NRM Technical Specialist).

King Island Solar Hot Water Project (2)

King Island Solar Hot Water Project (3)

Sunny side up for KI dairies, King Island Courier, 19 March 2014

Sunny side up for KI dairies
King Island Courier, 19 March 2014

Short term effluent management (STEM) project

Short term effluent management (STEM) project

This project will trial an alternative strategy for managing effluent. Researchers have estimated that methane emissions from ponds can be substantially reduced by distributing effluent more frequently; avoiding the long solids retention time common under a more typical approach to pond management. This project will develop a ‘hybrid’ system as effluent will continue to be stored during the winter period, but during the remainder of the year, it will be distributed as frequently as possible (whenever there is a soil moisture deficit greater than the minimum effluent application depth).

The project will also demonstrate the use of storage tanks for managing effluent. Above-ground effluent storage tanks are becoming more common on farms in New Zealand where high rainfall, high water tables and highly permeable soils mean that excavated, earthen storage ponds are not appropriate.

The project will run until early 2017 and will involve a number of open days on the Tasmanian co-operating farm (to be announced).

This project is supported by funding from the Commonwealth Government’s Action on the Ground program.

Download flyer

Lowering nitrogen use in temperate pasture based dairy systems through the adoption of Smart-N WeedSeeker technology

Within intensive pasture based dairy systems the application of fertiliser nitrogen (N) onto urine patches can cause economic loss and negative environmental impacts due to excess N being lost into the environment. Smart-N™ WeedSeeker® technology is a sensor based precision agriculture technology that aims to apply liquid based N fertiliser onto pasture without applying N onto urine patches. The system works by detecting differences in normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) between high N (urine patches) and low N areas and deactivates corresponding spray nozzles to prevent the application of fertiliser N to these N rich areas.

Smart-N™ WeedSeeker® sensor used in this study.

Smart-N™ WeedSeeker® technology is a new technology and consequently there is little available knowledge about its accuracy and precision. A recent Honours thesis, undertaken by Mr. Rob Snare at the School of Agricultural Science (UTAS) and supported by DairyTas, examined the efficacy of this technology at varying sensitivity settings in detecting a urine area. Five artificial urine N concentration treatments equivalent to 0kg N/ha (control), 150kg N/ha, 300kg N/ha, 450kg N/ha and 600kg N/ha were arranged as a randomised complete block design with 12 blocks within a temperate pasture at Cambridge, Tasmania. Plots were non-destructively sampled 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 19, 24, 30 and 44 days after application (DAA) of the urine treatments. Measurements of the accuracy and precision of the Smart-N™ WeedSeeker® technology under the sensitivity of 2,6,8,9 and 10 where the 2 represents a lower NDVI threshold and 10 a higher NDVI threshold were undertaken. This thesis concluded that the Smart-N™ is capable of detecting differences in the NDVI between high N and low N areas. According to research up to 23% of a pasture may be affected by urine patches. Therefore, if the Smart-N™ system operated perfectly and avoided the application of N to all urine patches, N use could be reduced by as much as 23%. However, further development of the system is required to reduce the discrepancy between actual reduction in N use and the theoretical maximum of 23% reduction in N use. The major limitation with the Smart-N™ system in this study was the inaccuracy and unevenness of calibration. Improvements in the calibration methodology are needed to ensure all sensors activate in the same manner and that calibration occurs at the appropriate level of NDVI. Accurate calibration will allow for more accurate research and help provide an indication as to the potential reductions in N use that may be achieved by using this technology.

Tactics for Tight Times

Dairy Australia funded DairyTas to deliver the Tight Times Management Project in 2012/13 to assist farmers with financial management during the 12/13 season in Tasmania. The project had 2 main components. Firstly, a series of financial workshops from 16–18 July 2012 with presentations from Penny Williams, Basil Doonan and Paul Briant (RFCS) and secondly the operation of a Monitor Farms program across 3 dairy farms during the season. The project was completed in March 2013.

Details on the 3 monitor farms (Twose, Chandler and Burr) are shown below.

Presentations from the workshops are attached along with the capital budget and cashflow for the case study presented. This case study is fictional and aimed to give farmers a process to work through alternative scenarios with the impact on farm profitability and cashflow demonstrated.

Dairy Industry launches new Dairy Cattle Welfare Guide

Launched in June 2012. Copies are available from DairyTas and TFGA. It is designed to provide farmers and workers in the industry with up to date information on animal welfare in the Dairy Industry, identifying what is acceptable and best practice and where to go for further information.

Download the 2012 Dairy Cattle Welfare Guide

Small Project Grants

Recent grants approved by DairyTas have included the following:

Project and RecipientValue
Australian Dairy Conference for young farmers – completed1,000
Biological fertiliser farm study (Serve Ag) – Stage 1 underway5,000
Discover Dairy (TL3) – completed4,400
Building the Herd Study (Macquarie Franklin) – completed10,000
Dairy Conversions NZ Tour (Roberts) – completed10,000

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