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Dairy industry given productivity tool boost

11 December, 2012

The University of Ballarat's Centre for eCommerce and Communications (CeCC) is working with Dairy Innovation Australia Limited (DIAL) to create greater efficiencies and improvements in decision making, using dairy industry data.

"We have developed a new spatial application to support the dairy industry’s milk production database, called C-Milk to assist DIAL to calculate where improvements in productivity might be made," Dr Helen Thompson, Director of CeCC, said.

"The online spatial application can visualise dairy production per region and dairy industry location.

"We can aggregate regional production data, allowing for identification of trends and anomalies in dairy production data.

"The application offers users – especially dairy processors and herd improvement companies – the advantage of accessing spatial information from any location, using advanced technology applications together with new broadband initiatives."

The dairy industry in Australia collects enormous quantities of data across all levels of dairy production, from milk quality and yield of individual cows and farms, to meteorological information tracking temperature, rainfall and humidity.

"In 2009, DIAL began to develop an integrated data platform, web application and dynamic query tool to make the data accessible to the industry," Dr Barbara Meurer, Manager, Milk Quality and Biotechnology, said.

"It is the richness and depth of the Victorian dairy industry data that makes it so well-suited to spatial representation.

"The data used in this geospatial prototype consisted of milk, protein and fat production levels for dairy producing regions. Alongside the production data, a random set of 6,000 dairy farms across Australia was generated to bench-test performance."

This collaborative project has been an important milestone for DIAL as it seeks to advance industry productivity, sustainability and competitiveness using innovative technologies.

"CeCC is pleased to have contributed to this important project and believes there is much potential for the industry as it builds capacity into the future," Dr Thompson said.

"The Victorian dairy industry is a substantial contributor to the state’s economy with over 5,000 dairy farms in Victoria accounting for 65 per cent of Australia’s overall milk production," Dr Meurer said.

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