Forage Options for Dairy Farms with Reduced Water Availability in the Southern Murray Darling Basin of Australia
AbstractThe dairy industry in the southern Murray Darling Basin region of Australia is a major consumer of irrigation water because rainfall is low relative to evapotranspiration and the industrys relies heavily on irrigated temperate pastures and fodder crops. Water reforms, and potential climate change scenarios for this region suggest that there will be an overall decline in rainfall and water available for irrigation in the future. For the irrigated dairy industry to remain economically viable, there is a need for dairy farmers to improve the water productivity (WP) of their forage systems and to be able to respond to year-to-year, and within year, variation in water availability. Researchers and dairy farmers are evaluating strategies to increase WP. These include: (i) selecting better-adapted species for current and predicted climatic conditions; (ii) using species that can survive and still be productive under reduced irrigation and then recover when full irrigation is restored; (iii) modifying irrigation strategies to reduce water use whilst maintaining WP; and (iv) grazing management strategies that facilitate the survival during, and recovery after, periods of moisture stress. This review will examine these strategies and discusses their potential to optimise forage production from irrigation water inputs so that the dairy industry in the southern Murray Darling Basin remains viable in the future. View Full-Text
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Rogers, M.-J.; Lawson, A.; Kelly, K. Forage Options for Dairy Farms with Reduced Water Availability in the Southern Murray Darling Basin of Australia. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2369.
Rogers M-J, Lawson A, Kelly K. Forage Options for Dairy Farms with Reduced Water Availability in the Southern Murray Darling Basin of Australia. Sustainability. 2017; 9(12):2369.Chicago/Turabian Style
Rogers, Mary-Jane; Lawson, Alister; Kelly, Kevin. 2017. "Forage Options for Dairy Farms with Reduced Water Availability in the Southern Murray Darling Basin of Australia." Sustainability 9, no. 12: 2369.
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