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Current Pasture Data to Increase Dairy Profitability

Current Pasture Data to Increase Dairy Profitability


Current Pasture Data to Increase Dairy Profitability

Article by: Hari Yellina

With the publication of Dairy Australia’s 2022 Forage Value Index tables, farmers may now confidently select cultivars that will be most successful in their region and lucrative for their farm. 96 percent of dairy producers have planted new pastures, forages, or crops in the last five years. The 2022 FVI tables rank perennial, annual, and Italian ryegrass varieties according to profitability using data from the Pasture Trial Network. Under Australian conditions, the tables provide an easy-to-understand, accurate, and unbiased analysis of the potential economic value of perennial, annual, and Italian ryegrass cultivars.

The FVI rating system was established in close collaboration with farmers, the seed industry, and fully competent, internationally recognised specialists, and is based on best practices from throughout the world. It assists farmers and advisors in making more educated selections when selecting ryegrass cultivars in order to help farmers boost pasture productivity at important periods of the year and, as a result, farm profitability. The FVI was only available for perennial ryegrass until 2021, but it now includes tables for annual and Italian variants. Tables and economic values for annual and Italian ryegrass varieties for the north and south areas of NSW are also new this year.

Forage Value Index Updates

For the 2022 pasture planting season, the Forage Value Index (FVI) has been modified. Perennial and Italian ryegrass FVI lists are now available for 2022, with the Annual ryegrass FVI set to be updated in the coming weeks. In the interim, farmers can use the yearly ryegrass rankings from 2021 as a reference point. Farmers and their advisers in New South Wales will have FVI tables particular to their local regions for the first time in 2022, with the inclusion of South Coast NSW and North Coast NSW as new FVI regions with their own set of Economic Values.

Due to the larger relative importance of those two species in those locations compared to perennial ryegrass, the lists for these two new regions will only include Italian ryegrass and Annual ryegrass (when the 2022 update for annuals is finished). These two new areas join Tasmania, Northern Victoria, Gippsland, and South-West Victoria, which already have four. In addition to updating the economic values to incorporate two more regions, the model used to generate economic values in each region was also updated. In the 2022 FVI updates for each region.

The FVI will continue to increase and improve year after year. They are collecting and analysing fodder quality data in perennial ryegrass trials right now, and also aiming to gather forage quality samples in annual ryegrass trials in 2022. This will allow the FVI rankings to account for forage quality as well as dry matter yield in the future (which the FVI is solely based on at the moment).