Kim Chance

Kim Chance

Minister for Agriculture and Food; Forestry; the Mid West and Wheatbelt; Great Southern

    New dairy for Vasse.

    13/09/2007 12:25 PM

    Agriculture and Food Minister Kim Chance today opened an important new research facility for the Western Australian dairy industry at the Vasse Research Centre in Busselton.

    Mr Chance said the new facility and research work being undertaken by the Department of Agriculture and Food’s (DAFWA) Greener Pastures project were crucial for the State’s dairy industry as it prepared for growing demand from world markets.

    “This facility’s primary role is to cater for research that will assist industry to increase efficiency and profitability. It will also be relevant to the scaled-up dairy businesses we are now seeing in WA,” he said.

    The Minister said features at Vasse included the management and animal husbandry needed for large herds, intensification of production and high usage of pasture, and electronic technology for cow identification, individual feeding, monitoring of milk production and animal health.

    “Our dairy industry can be assured of a facility that can provide world-class dairy research for years to come, supporting long term profitability and sustainability for producers,” he said.

    “The outlook for our dairy industry is excellent, with expanding dairy markets, increased prices, record dairy commodity export returns and more demand for WA milk.

    “The growth in demand is very reassuring and the WA industry is well-positioned to capture increased profits from higher milk prices.

    “We now have the potential for an estimated five to 10 per cent annual growth rate in the industry over the next three years.”

    Mr Chance said the State Government remained committed to supporting this growth, with DAFWA’s current dairy research, the Greener Pastures Project, a key driver in feed production and profitability.

    Nationally, the project was relevant to 25 per cent of Australia’s dairying areas, and the principles it was establishing would underpin dry-land dairy production for many years.

    “The Vasse Dairy will assist in improving operational efficiency and will provide a much higher level of automation in many milking operations, including milk recording, grain feeding, drafting of cattle, automated vat cleaning and easier data collection,” the Minister said.

    Mr Chance said the Department of Agriculture and Food would continue to work closely with industry to help position WA as a supplier of premium dairy products on world markets.

    The commissioning of the new dairy took place as part of the 2007 Vasse Greener Pastures Open Day.

    Minister's office - 9213 6700