Subtropical Dairy is a not-for-profit research, development, extension and education company, limited by guarantee. It is led by a skills-based board elected by subtropical dairy farmers.
During 2018–19, in conjunction with industry partners, Subtropical Dairy delivered $1.9 million worth of projects that focus on improving the profitability and sustainability of dairy farms. Subtropical Dairy receives its core funding from Dairy Australia and the Dairy Services Levy.
About Subtropical Dairy
Subtropical Dairy is one of eight regional teams established by Dairy Australia in the 1990s. Subtropical Dairy drives innovation in research and extension and works to guide the strategy and implementation of dairy research, dairy education and promotion programs across the region.
The Subtropical Dairy region extends 2,200 kilometres from Kempsey in New South Wales to the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland. The region is uniquely characterised by hot and humid summers and mild and dry winters. Average annual rainfalls often exceed 2,000 millimetres in northern parts of the state, with cyclones, flooding and drought all common events that challenge farm production and profitability.
In 2018–19, the subtropical region produced approximately 486 million litres of milk, representing about 5.5% of national milk output.
The size and spread of the Subtropical Dairy area has led to the establishment of six Regional Groups.
Vision for the region
Subtropical Dairy’s vision is:
The subtropical dairy industry is a profitable, sustainable and market focused industry practicing responsible resource management and offering a fulfilling lifestyle to adaptable professional people.
Subtropical Dairy’s work advances the subtropical dairy industry by delivering on its mission:
The Subtropical Dairy Program fosters a collaborative and unified approach to farm viability, by facilitating research and extension, improving technology and empowering people in the industry.
This work is effected through regionally specific programs in the areas of:
- Farm business management
- Agronomy and herd nutrition
- Animal health and welfare
- Natural resource management
- Supporting people and human resources
- Communications and service improvement
Subtropical Dairy is made up of a team of extension and communication staff delivering these programs.
Dairy Australia’s annual investment in Subtropical Dairy is determined by the region’s milk production. Subtropical Dairy works to leverage additional funds from Natural Resource Management bodies, State Government and other interested investors.
Management and Governance
The size and spread of the Subtropical Dairy area has led to the establishment of the Regional Groups. Each group can focus on issues specific to their own region and farming systems. Subtropical Dairy provides funding opportunities for regions through its funding of small projects. The Regional Groups propose their own projects which are submitted for assessment.