Livestock producers in Australia have an increasing dependency on fodder, with hay and silage now included as part of many feed rations throughout the year. Australia produces around 7 million tonnes of hay and 2 million tonnes of silage annually. The annual gross value of production for fodder is around $2 million and exceeds that of the sugar, chicken and barley industries. Despite the size of the industry, fodder Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) in Australia is extremely poorly funded relative to most other rural industries.
The Australian Fodder industry Association (AFIA) held a Summit on 11 June 2008 to discuss the need for additional funds and better coordination of RD&E for the fodder industry.
The information will be of general interest to all sectors of the fodder industry and to associated industries that use substantial amounts of fodder, particularly the dairy industry.