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Minimum Cost Feeding of Dairy Cows in Northern Victoria

Listed author(s):
  • Marnie Griffith

A new era of water scarcity has changed past patterns of feeding dairy cows in northern Victoria. This paper derives a model for estimating least-cost feeding of dairy cows under a range of assumptions regarding prices for irrigation water, hay and feed grain. The cost-minimisation is subject to a variety of nutritional constraints, including seasonal provision of energy, fibre and protein. It is found that the optimal feeding regime varies considerable with input prices, from an irrigated pasture-based system to a diet based much more on bought-in hay and feed grain. This change broadly mimics that which has taken place in the region over the current extended period of drought. Output from the linear programming model is used to estimate the CES substitution parameter between water and the other inputs. This parameter is estimated at 0.7, significantly higher than the 0.2 originally used.

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Paper provided by Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre in its series Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers with number g-195.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
Handle: RePEc:cop:wpaper:g-195
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  1. Ho, Christie K.M. & Nesseler, R. & Doyle, Peter T. & Malcolm, Bill, 2005. "Future dairy farming systems in irrigation regions," AFBM Journal, Australasian Farm Business Management Network, vol. 2(1).
  2. Ho, Christie K.M. & Malcolm, Bill & Armstrong, Dan P. & Doyle, Peter T., 2006. "A case study of changes in economic performance of an irrigated dairy farm in northern Victoria," AFBM Journal, Australasian Farm Business Management Network, vol. 3(1).
  3. Ho, Christie K.M. & Armstrong, Dan P. & Doyle, Peter T. & Malcolm, Bill, 2005. "Impacts of changing water price and availability on irrigated dairy farms in northern Victoria," AFBM Journal, Australasian Farm Business Management Network, vol. 2(2).
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