Use of oaten hay to support sustainable development of dairy production

Summary

While there are increasing exports of Australian oaten hay to support the rapid growth of Chinese dairy production, there is limited scientific evidence to demonstrate the potential nutritional benefits of oaten hay for dairy production. Therefore, the project aims to help fodder exporters to explore and capture opportunities to sell more oaten hay to China, through situation analysis and producing scientific data. The project will improve understanding of how, when and why Chinese dairy producers use oaten hay in cow diets, and develop scientific evidence to educate and promote the use of Australian oaten hay in Chinese dairy production. The methods and frameworks developed from this project will help scientists conducting future projects in other countries importing Australian fodder. A four-year stepwise experimental program is planned to achieve the aim by comparing oaten hay use in dairying with wheat, barley, timothy, ryegrass, lucerne hays and corn silage. The findings will be communicated to fodder exporters and the broader public through project reports, press releases, conference presentations, scientific journal publications and bilingual factsheets. The University of Melbourne will lead the project in collaboration with key experts in the Australian export fodder and dairy industries, and in the Chinese dairy industry.

Program

Export Fodder

Research Organisation

The University of Melbourne

Objective Summary

The project objectives include: 1. Review international scientific literature (in Chinese and English) of the oaten hay for livestock production. 2. Understand how, when and why Chinese dairy production uses oaten hay in cow diets. 3. Develop scientific evidence to educate and promote the use of Australian oaten hay in Chinese dairy production through forage quality, rumen fermentation, digestibility, weight gain and milk production studies. 4. Test and modify as required existing modelling approaches to predict cow weight gain and milk production, economic, urinary nitrogen excretion and greenhouse gas emission from using Australian oaten hay. Develop four case studies for use of oaten hay in the Chinese dairy industry, including prediction of production, economic and environmental outcomes. 5. Collaborate with key experts in the Australian export fodder and dairy industries, and in the Chinese dairy industry.

Project Code

PRJ-012649

Project Stage

Current

Project Start Date

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Project Completion Date

Friday, February 28, 2025

National Priority

Frontier technologies for building and transforming Australian industries

National Priority

FCR-Continued access to export markets

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