This unit will explore the various aspects of dairy farming and the dairy industry from a scientific point of view. The lectures are a mix of the principles on which sound dairy farming is based and practical examples of how this operates in practice. Focus is placed on integrating knowledge to gain understanding on the system of production as a whole. At the end of this unit of study, students will demonstrate a solid understanding of: the characteristics of the dairy industry in Australia and in a world wide context; the key components of pasture-based dairy systems; principles and practices of pasture and feeding management; the application of new technologies to improve efficiency and productivity (particularly automatic milking). In addition, students will demonstrate an appreciation of key aspects of reproduction and lactation physiology; the integration of knowledge of genetics and reproduction into the type of herd improvement structure set up in the dairy industry; the application of ruminant physiology knowledge to developing feeding programs for dairy cows; the extension of basic reproductive physiology onto the dairy farm using case studies as examples; the economics of the dairy farm business. Practical classes include milking cows; grazing and feeding management of dairy cows; calf rearing; and visits to commercial farms ranging from small pasture-based dairy farms to a feed-lot operation milking over 2,000 cows.
Lectures up to 3 hrs/wk, practicals 3 hrs/wk
Whole farm professional report (30%), Pracs assessments, (30%), 1 hr exam (40%). In addition to the requirements of Level04, Level07 students will be required to research and discuss topics relevant to dairy production. Details to be provided during the course.
There is no single text that adequately covers the course content and for this reason no formal text is required. However, the following books can be used as basic bibliography for consultation during the course: Milk Production from Pasture (CW Holmes et al 2002) Feeding the dairy cow (Chamberlain and Wilkinson 1996) Where appropriate, relevant reference material will be identified for specific areas of the course.