From the Experts

One size does not fit all

By Dairy News

I OFTEN hear about the state of the Gippsland dairy industry as if we are all dealing with the same issues at the same time. It would be nice to think that when rain falls on Leongatha it would also give a good soaking to Orbost farms, but that just isn’t the case. Pastures might be booming at Yarram, but West Gippsland farms might be riddled with cockchafers. For GippsDairy it’s about delivering timely, relevant programs while acknowledging that districts across all the Gippsland regions are facing diff erent challenges at any given time. As I write this, many farmers in East

Gippsland are struggling with a dry winter and spring that has severely hampered pasture production. Coming on the back of the milk price issues of recent years, the lower than average rain is putting extra pressure on cashfl ows. GippsDairy’s Discussion Groups have been a primary source of information for East Gippsland farmers on how to deal with the tough conditions, while Taking Stock has been a popular program with those looking to fi nd an edge in their business performance. But only a couple of summers ago East Gippslanders were enjoying a bumper season while Tactics for Dry Times was helping farm

ers along the coastal areas of South Gippsland to access enough water to fi ll stock troughs. Early next year, GippsDairy will help launch a Shade and Shelter booklet that off ers specifi c advice to MID farmers on how to develop longterm solutions for heat stress while working around irrigation infrastructure. We’ve recognised that the approach to tree planting can be very diff erent in Newry and Nyora. These are just a few of the ways GippsDairy and our partner organisations are working to help farmers who are operating under very different systems to make the most of the conditions they are faced with.

GippsDairy is your organisation and is only ever a phone call away if you want to discuss how we can be better serving your local area. Most Gippsland farmers would know at least one staff  or board member, so pick up the phone and give us a call if you think we could be a delivering a particular program in your district. Finally, I’d like to wish you all a merry and safe Christmas and new year. Please make sure you try to fi nd some time to relax and enjoy family, friends and the Gippsland that’s beyond your farm gate.

• Grant Williams GippsDairy chair