Source: Victorian Government Media Release.
A Gippsland research facility backed by the Andrews Labor Government is on track to become the world’s first carbon-neutral dairy farm, setting a gold standard for Victoria’s dairy sector.
Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas was in Gippsland today to officially open the Ellinbank SmartFarm, which has been funded through the Labor Government’s $5 million Smarter, Safer Farms initiative.
The 231-hectare, 500-cow farm is Australia’s leading dairy innovation facility, fast-tracking innovative technologies in a research environment and showing them in a way that is accessible to the dairy industry.
Research projects being conducted are focusing on a range of improvements including optimising homegrown feed to improve farm operating profit, better health and welfare of cows by reducing the negative impacts of extreme heat events, increased production performance of cows while reducing costs, and sustainably increasing annual milk production through a better understanding of herd nutrition and pasture management.
The SmartFarm is also becoming carbon-neutral by reducing methane emissions, improving fertiliser and manure management, and generating electricity through several options including solar, wind, hydro and bio-digestion.
The farm will also soon be home to the Agriculture Energy Demonstration and Education program which is being supported through the Agriculture Energy Investment Plan – a $30 million Labor Government investment that helps farmers reduce their energy costs and be more energy efficient.