This project aimed to increase farm profit through better decisions on nitrogen fertiliser applications on dairy farms, by delivering knowledge, training and tools. It collated 19,000 data points of pasture dry matter production in response to a nitrogen application in a database, then used this data to mathematically predict the amount of pasture that would be grown in a given location and season, this pasture production then informs an economic model which calculates the optimum profit that can be realised from the fertiliser purchase.

When feedback was sought from leading agronomists and extension providers, it seemed clear that the tool had delivered on its aim. Agronomist for Incitec Pivot, Lee Menhenett said, “The tool is based on the best science. It’s a tool that you can have confidence in.” Dairy farm field services manager Mark Jago, from Murray Goulburn, agrees. “It’s a great outcome to be able to use 50 years of nitrogen experiments, then to take that and put it into a discussion support tool that a farmer can use with a consultant to get better outcomes for his N usage and N spend,” he said. We look forward to the legacy of this investment.

Partner Organisations: Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture and Food WA, Murray Goulburn Co-Operative and Fonterra Australia

Read an article from the July/August 2015 issue of ADF here.