Dairy farmers workshop – feedpads, freestalls and barns

Dairy farmers workshop – feedpads, freestalls and barns

Agriculture Victoria is hosting a two-day workshop with industry experts and dairy farmers discussing effective dairy infrastructure planning and development.

The workshop will include visiting farms, via buses, to inspect new infrastructure and listen to dairy farmers outline the reasons behind their investment and the key people they engaged to plan, design and build their infrastructure.

Agriculture Victoria Dairy Extension Officer Michael O’Keefe said with current dry conditions and increasing seasonal variability, many farmers are looking at ways to manage their farm risk.

“The host farmers and their respective dairy builder(s) will discuss what is working well and with the benefit of hindsight what they would change,” Mr O’Keefe said.

“The construction of concrete feedpad or freestall facility typically results in cows spending large parts of the day in a confined area. Farmers then need to consider cow comfort, the accumulation of manure and production of effluent from cow alleys.

“These features need to be part of the early planning phase, therefore Day 1 morning session will include best practice knowledge in effluent system design and management; bedding options to optimise cow comfort and how to integrate automatic milking systems into new dairy developments.”

The afternoon of Day 1 and all of Day 2 will be farm visits, via buses. Registration is essential, so transport details can be finalised.

Mr O’Keefe said workshop participants will have the opportunity to inspect infrastructure and talk to the farmers and builders (on Day 2) gaining their insights into planning, constructing and managing these systems.

Day 1: Tuesday 12 February 2019 from 9am – 4pm, at Rochester Racecourse Recreation Reserve, Diggora Road, Rochester. Morning presentations will be followed by a bus tour to Acocks and Christie farms.

Day 2: Wednesday 13 February 2019 from 8.45am – 3.00pm, bus pick-up points to be decided closer to event, visiting both Dee and Quinn farms.

Source: Agriculture Victoria