Optimising genetics, reproduction and nutrition of dairy sheep and goats

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The Australian dairy sheep industry currently has six well?established businesses, all of which are vertically integrated, processing all of their milk in their own factories. Of these, the products of one are nationally distributed and the products of three others are well established. The farm gate value from these dairies is probably about $4 million per year and probably growing at about 10 per cent per year.

The Australian goat dairy industry has a number of nationally distributed brands that are available in independent retailers, food services and, over the past few years, supermarkets. These brands are derived from milk produced from two substantial dairies in Victoria. There are also well-established brands in all the other states, each reliant on one or several family farms to supply their milk. The industry has a factory-door turnover of at least $30 million per year, and this is estimated to be growing at around 20 per cent per year. Australian dairies are now exporting cheese to the USA and have received genuine enquiry for powdered milk from China.

This project was aimed at devising strategies suitable for increasing the efficiency of milk production in Australian dairy sheep and goats.

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