NZ Dairy Industry Continuing To Build Towards Sustainable Future

NZ Dairy Industry Continuing To Build Towards Sustainable Future

Stu Taylor, the General Manager of Farming at Craigmore Sustainables and a key figure in the Dairy Environment Leaders Network, shares his insights into the sustainable advancements within New Zealand's dairy industry. 

The conversation delves into how the sector is undergoing a transformation, moving away from mere expansion to a focus on efficiency and productivity that doesn't harm the environment. Taylor discusses the innovative strategies employed by farmers who combine traditional knowledge with cutting-edge technology. 

He emphasises that "farmers run their own supercomputer," with their intuitive data collection being complemented by new electronic methods that measure various aspects of farm health. 

"They're visually taking in multiple data points on a daily basis, hourly basis, every minute," Taylor explains, highlighting the natural observational skills of farmers that are now being augmented with technology. 

A major talking point revolves around the technological innovations that are currently in place or in development. Taylor speaks about a variety of technologies, from the eco-pond system that reduces methane emissions from effluent ponds to cow wearables that monitor health. 

He notes that "running a really efficient farm system is a reduction in greenhouse gases," suggesting that technological advancements and farm efficiency go hand-in-hand in reducing environmental impact. 

Another key focus of the conversation is the adaptation of farmers to these new technologies. Taylor suggests a pragmatic approach where not all farmers need to adopt new practices immediately. Instead, they can learn from the experiences of those who are innovating. 

"You don't have to race out and do something right now, all you have to do is observe the guys that are innovating," Taylor advises, reinforcing the idea of collaborative progress within the industry. 

In terms of sharing these advancements, Taylor mentions that while Craigmore Sustainables is compiling data and has yet to share it widely, they intend to partner with organisations like Dairy NZ to disseminate successful practices. 

This will ensure that the benefits of innovation are accessible to the wider farming community, enhancing the sector's overall sustainability. 

Throughout the conversation, Taylor offers a vision of a dairy industry that is not only preserving the environment but is also actively seeking ways to improve upon it through a blend of tradition and innovation. 

His enthusiasm for the future is evident as he says, "So don't be concerned if you're not doing it now. Just support those innovators that are doing something." 

This perspective encourages a collective effort toward a more sustainable and technologically advanced dairy farming future.

Listen to the full chat between Stu Taylor and Dominic George above.

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