P1a – From A to B (A2B): improving Kikuyu’s productivity through remote sensing and data-based management

Yani Garcia oversees the Dairy UP project

You can help

if you are interested in this project or think you may want to be involved at some stage, please contact anyone from the team here:

Peter Beale  – Local Land Services Hunter (Taree – Mid North Coast) – peter.beale@lls.nsw.gov.au

David Deane – Local Land Services Hunter (Tocal) – david.deane@lls.nsw.gov.au

Martin Correa Luna – The University of Sydney – martin.correa.luna@gmail.com

Juan Gargiulo – NSW DPI – juan.gargiulo@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Yani Garcia – The University of Sydney/DRF – sergio.garcia@sydney.edu.au

Josh Hack – Ag Farming Systems (Taree) – josh@farmingsystems.com

Zita Ritchie – NSW DPI – (North Coast) zita.ritchie@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Jane Woolacott – Dairy NSW – (South Coast) – jane@dairynsw.com.au


Dairy UP’s 10 projects collectively address on-farm productivity, de-risking the industry and developing new markets.

We aim to unlock the true potential of kikuyu-based pastures by exploring new management options using advanced technologies and monitoring systems.

This project will close the gap on practical constraints and impediments facing commercial farms using or with the potential to use kikuyu relating to:


  1. The difficulties in managing and utilising pasture within a whole farm system, with growth rates varying from <40-50 kg DM/ha in winter (annual ryegrass) and approaching 200 kg in good conditions in summer (kikuyu). This, coupled with lack of real time and systematic monitoring of pasture growth rate, almost inevitably results in summer surpluses that can only be potentially utilised by ensiling. However, kikuyu losses quality very rapidly as biomass increases, so making silage of a moderate/reasonable nutritive value is very challenging. Managing ‘effective’ stocking rate during the summer is key for success.


  1. The inter- and intra-annual variability in growth rates, particularly in dryland systems. This has similar consequences as point #1 (i.e. large variation in growth rate that limits farmers’ ability to utilise pasture better); again, its impact exacerbated by the lack of adequate automated monitoring systems of pasture growth.

See on-farm monitoring and benefits for farmers here.


PhD opportunities in the dairy industry

Direct on farm research is key to unlock the potential of Kikuyu-based pastures

For more information contact

Prof. Yani Garcia (sergio.garcia@sydney.edu.au) or Dr. Martin Correa Luna (martin.correa.luna@gmail.com)

This research is funded by the DairyUP initiative (https://www.dairyup.com.au/) and it is expected to benefit all farmers with kikuyu pastures.