P3 – Economics of intensification

Yani Garcia oversees the Dairy UP project

Project contact:

Sheena Carter, NSW DPI


  • NSW DPI (Sheena Carter, Juan Gargiulo),
  • Dairy Australia (Karen Romano, Pheona Smoczynska),
  • AgVic (Claire Waterman), Dan Armstrong, consultant
  • Melbourne University (Ruth Nettle, Nikki Reichelt).


Related Articles

P3 Economics of TMR

Juan Gargiulo presented results from P3/s work on the economics of TMR rations in Australia at the Australasian Dairy Science Symposium in December 2022.

Sheena Carter

Crunching the numbers on farming systems

All dairy farming systems can be profitable if managed well, but preliminary data analysis from NSW’s Dairy UP program suggests there’s more variability in tough seasons for non-grazing systems. That was the message from NSW DPI Development Officer and Dairy Business Advisory Unit leader Sheena Carter, who presented some early farm financial and physical performance information to the Dairy Research Foundation Symposium.

This project aims to provide information to help farmers to decide if transitioning to an intensive production/feeding system is a suitable investment for their circumstances.

A similar project has been undertaken in northern Victoria, led by Agriculture Victoria. The findings from both the Victorian and NSW DairyUP project will contribute to a national Decision Support Project tool which is being developed by Dairy Australia (Adapting Farm Systems project) and Agriculture Victoria.

The NSW farms are located over a wide geographic region. By 2020-2021 all participating farms were considered to be in a zero-grazing system, with some of the farms still going through a transition phase. The approach involves detailed economic analysis of each farm, using the Dairy Farm Monitor methodology. It also includes a social science study to explore drivers for change and the historic decision-making process in the same study cohort of farms.


Progress (February 2022):  
Key project findings will be presented to industry at the Raising the Roof event, to be held in northern Victoria in May 2022.

NSW farms were recruited in mid-2021. Data collection occurred in August and September with initial results presented at the Dairy Research Foundation in September (link to presentation). Detailed data analysis is being undertaken February to April 2022 with some of the findings to be presented at the Raising the Roof event.

Further extension of the findings will occur in the second half of 2022 and early 2023, after the final report is completed.