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  • DairyBio

    DairyBio is a five-year initiative established in 2016 as a major investment in dairy bioscience. The core investment proposition is to generate large-scale impacts for Australian dairy farmers through the advanced and industrial-scale application of biological sciences.

    DairyBio focuses upon improvements in the genetics of pasture cultivars and dairy cattle, utilising bioscience capability that is recognised internationally as world-leading. In 2018 Gardiner Dairy Foundation became a formal partner in the initiative, joining Dairy Australia and Agriculture Victoria. The increased investment from Gardiner Foundation in DairyBio will bring forward outcomes of existing projects, ensure science capacity is retained and delivers ongoing value from legacy activities of the previous Gardiner investment in the Improving Herds project.

    The goal of DairyBio is to improve the cost-competitiveness of the dairy industry by improving pasture productivity by $800 per hectare per year and improving animal productivity by $350 per cow per year by 2030. This scale of impact is major and will assist the dairy industry to remain strong and better handle significant challenges over the next two decades.

    In 2018/19 many innovations were developed to the stage where assessment of their future impact is more robust and indicate DairyBio is on track to deliver the projected productivity improvements. One of the most critical innovations is hybrid breeding, with a target of improving yields of pasture by 20%. Ongoing work has demonstrated the power of this technology with significant gains in yield obtained in commercial breeding operations and gives confidence to all investors that the project is on track to deliver its impact with new cultivars produced by 2023/24. Based on this success and broader Australian industry requirements, additional focus has now been placed on short term ryegrass F1 development. Developments in phenotyping in the field are progressing rapidly, allowing plant performance over time to be monitored providing benefits to the forage improvement projects. Genomic selection in ryegrass is delivering a significant boost to genetic gain (3X) and is now implemented in commercial breeding programs.

    Animal improvement impacts are underway, and economic analysis on farm has demonstrated that genomic technology tools already provide significant benefits and with further improvements is on track to deliver $350 per cow per year by 2030. There has been progress in implementation of research outputs such as new traits working closely with DataGene who have introduced a modern operating environment for genetic evaluation services. Heat tolerance is now an established trait, and calving ease and gestation length traits are ready to implement. Improvements to many established traits and breeding values have been delivered. Recent results indicate milk mid-infrared data can be used to improve breeding selections, but also predict and manage individual cow fertility. Progress on crossbreed breeding values is being made.

    It is fully expected that by 2021 technologies will be available and transferred to next users that will allow profitability on farm through improved pasture and animal selection and management.

    Find out more about the program...

    Keeping research talent in dairy

    A key challenge of agricultural research is how to recruit and retain talented people - which is vitally important to drive the productivity gains that are necessary to keep the Australian dairy industry competitive and profitable. DairyBio and DairyFeedbase collaborative...

    New traits for genetic improvement

    The DairyBio Animal Program is targeting an additional value of $350 per cow per year in Australian dairy herds through genetic improvement, lower costs by enabling selection for health traits and developing improved breeding management tools. Genetic improvement for traits...

    Australia’s dairy innovation framework

    Dairy Australia is one of a network of industry partners who invest in dairy research and innovation to deliver transformational herd and forage productivity gains for Australian dairy farmers. The two main research and innovation programs that Dairy Australia invests...

    Why does the dairy industry invest in herd improvement?

    Dairy Australia has an important role in innovation in the dairy industry on behalf of the 5500 dairy farmers across Australia. Collaborating with industry partners such as the Gardiner Foundation, Agriculture Victoria and others, Dairy Australia ensures the maximum value...

    Knowledge is power for Victorian dairy farmer

    Dairy farmer Con Glennen believes there is no such thing as the perfect cow but he wants to take advantage of all the genomic advantages that DairyBio research can deliver. Mr Glennen with wife Michelle and two sons farms at...

    DairyBio finding pasture and animal solutions

    Helping dairy farmers to produce more fertile, productive and healthy herds is the impetus behind DairyBio, a $60 million bio-science innovation initiative of Dairy Australia, the Victorian government and the Gardiner Foundation. The DairyBio team works in purpose-built facilities at...