University Of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

The role of forage management in addressing challenges facing Australasian dairy farming

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 12:20 authored by Cranston, LM, Pembleton, KG, Burkitt, LL, Curtis, A, Donaghy, DJ, Gourley, CJP, Harrington, KC, James HillsJames Hills, Pembleton, LW, Richard RawnsleyRichard Rawnsley
Forage management underpins the viability of pastoral dairy systems. This review investigated recent developments in forage research and their potential to enable pastoral dairy systems to meet the challenges that will be faced over the next 10 years. Grazing management, complementary forages, pasture diversity, fertiliser use, chemical restriction, irrigation management and pasture breeding are considered. None of these areas of research are looking to increase production directly through increased inputs, but, rather, they aim to lift maximum potential production, defend against production decline or improve the efficiency of the resource base and inputs. Technology approaches consistently focus on improving efficiency, while genetic improvement or the use of complementary forages and species diversity aim to lift production. These approaches do not require additional labour to implement, but many will require an increase in skill level. Only a few areas will help address animal welfare (e.g. the use of selected complementary forages and novel endophytes) and only complementary forages will help address increased competition from non-dairy alternatives, by positively influencing the properties of milk. Overall, the diversity of activity and potential effects will provide managers of pastoral dairy systems with the best tools to respond to the production and environmental challenges they face over the next 10 years.


Publication title

Animal Production Science








Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)


C S I R O Publishing

Place of publication


Rights statement

CSIRO 2020

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Dairy cattle